Daedalus is a Tilburg-based company specialised in maintenance, repair and overhaul – MRO for insiders – of military aircraft. Apart from F-16 related maintenance Daedalus does support work on Chinook and Cougar helicopters.
It also operates in a joint-venture with IEI, part of the US branch of Israeli company Elbit.
Customers include the air forces of the Netherlands, Thailand, Indonesia, Chile and, most recently, Jordan.
At the DSEi arms fair in London Daedalus signed a contract with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau (KADDB) and the Jordanian Aeronautical Systems Company (JAC) on 14 September. The signing ceremony was attended by Jordanian prince Feisal Bin Al Hussein.
According to the press release the establishment of a military MRO centre in Amman, Jordan will provide a more cost-effective solution for the future upgrade of F-16s of the Jordanian air force. One of the aims is to also do such work for other air forces in the region flying F-16s (e.g. Egypt, Turkey, Oman, UAE and Bahrain).
The Dutch ministry of Defence has sold six surplus F-16s to Jordan in recent years; Belgium another 25.
The agreement between Daedalus and the Jordanians comes at a time that the Dutch government is under fire for arms export licences to repressive dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa.
Jordan’s appalling human rights situation (torture, no civil rights of any significance) appears to have been traded off against the country’s support to the war on terror, as well as long-standing ties between the royal families of the two countries.
So far protests have been less massive than in some other Arab countries and the government’s reaction more pro-active in terms of promises and dialogue. Still, in July thousands of people took to the streets of several Jordan cities demanding transparency and an end to corruption, forcing the government to shuffle its cabinet.
[FS, 4 Oct 2011]