SANTIAGO.- After the Netherlands denied that an agreement had been reached to sell 18 used F-16 fighter planes to Chile, Minister of Defense Fransico Vidal admitted today that the documents have yet to be signed. The political authority reiterated however, that the purchase of the aircrafts is practically a done deal.
Francisco Vidal categorically assured today that negotiations with the Dutch government have ended and said that the contract would be signed very shortly.
The minister stepped up to issue the statement after the spokesperson for the European country's Ministry of Defense, Maurice Piek, announced that "no contract has been signed" with regards to the sale of the military aircrafts.
The spokesperson did not wish to say whether the Netherlands is currently negotiating with other possible buyers and did not refer to the approximate cost of the planes.
Meanwhile, while leaving the Defense Commission of the Chamber of Deputies last night, Vidal confirmed the purchase of the planes for a total of US$ 270 million dollars and indicated that the machines would replace the F-5 fighters that are currently based out of Antofogasta.