In 1998, TNO and NLR (National Aerospace Laboratory) offered their joint support to the Royal Dutch Air Force for the project concerning the replacement of the F-16 fighter jets. Through guiding a large number of other equipment projects, TNO had gained extensive experience and built an international reputation concerning such things as multi-criteria analysis, scenario analysis and life cycle costs.
We also have extensive knowledge of a number of technologies that played a key role in the decision-making process. An example of this is our knowledge of the low observability concept, which was used for the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter), but not for the other candidates. This knowledge, linked to NLR's internationally renowned position in aviation technology, has enabled the Air Force to complete a sound decision-making process, in which transparency and traceability were guaranteed. After it was decided to partake in the JSF programme, this knowledge provided the Air Force with a solid base for the discussions with the JSF programme bureau in the US. The knowledge we gained during the project has led to further honing of the standard method we use to support equipment projects (TAO-M). Our knowledge of low observability and sensor technology, among others, can be applied for developments in the field of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
TNO's and NLR's knowledge has led to a number of specific projects concerning specific technology, for instance the development of ammunition without depleted uranium, reduction of the JSF's noise production and involvement in the development of a prognostic and health monitoring system.