Melville ten Cate of ECA, housed in Schiphol, claims to have secured EUR 283 million to finance the business plan I have been harping on about for the last 25 years: he wants to buy 24 light combat aircraft to start an Integrated Opposing Force (IOPFOR) which will be used as an agressor training service for NATO. Eventually he wants to add surface and naval assets to the force.
Melville ten Cate
Their corporate website is here, where they state they’re looking for EUR 448 m to finance all the aircraft, so he’s a bit short, but able to pay for 14 aircraft.
The Financial Times ran an article which was picked up in august 2010 by other media. In the FT article he is in discussion with Iceland to use an airbase there. In this article he talks about using Sukhoi’s, in other articles he talks about using MiG 35’s, Chengdu J-10’s, Saab Gripen’s.
A Dutch paper that picked up the article and wrote its own tried to contact the company, but the contact address on the old website led to Fokker Aircraft Services, where no-one knew of the company.
In January 2011 it turned out that the Icelandic government had denied permission to use the Keflavik base. Jobs for 45 pilots at EUR 160K per year had been posted, but ECA was unavailable for contact. It turned out that the company wasn’t registered in the Netherlands. No one could contact the ten Cate brothers and no-one knows anything about their financers.
Melville ten Cate has an empty LinkedIn page.
Pprune has picked it up again here but not much activity in that thread.
Scramble has an old thread on the subject here which has been picked up again.
So it’s a mystery.