Tuesday, January 19, 2021

F-35 Fighter Jets Beats Eurofighter Typhoon To Win $6.5B Belgium Defence Contract

The F-35 Fighter Jets have been officially selected over Eurofighter Typhoon for Belgium’s next-generation aircraft, becoming the 13th country to join the program, the Belgian government announced Thursday.

With that decision, F-35 Fighter Jets developed by Lockheed Martin has defeated a bid by the governments of Spain, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom for the Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as an informal offer by France for the Dassault Rafale and an option for Belgium to upgrade its existing F-16s.

Belgium plans to buy 34 F-35As to replace ageing F-16 aircraft, about fifty-four in the inventory. The U.S. State Department has already approved the deal, which has an estimated value of $6.5 billion.

“Lockheed Martin is honoured by the Belgian government’s selection of the F-35A Lightning II for their future national security needs,” the company said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting the U.S. government in delivering the F-35 program to meet the requirements of the Belgian government.”

Vice Adm. Mat Winter, head of the F-35 joint program executive officer, said the decision to join the program will strengthen the U.S.-Belgian relationship. “We look forward to working closely with our Belgian teammates as they mature plans for purchasing their F-35s,” he said in a statement.

The U.S. Embassy in Brussels tweeted a response to Vandeput, stressing how Belgium’s F-35 selection would add to NATO interoperability. “Belgium will fly @thef35 alongside some of its closest @NATO allies & longtime partners in air defence. The US is extremely proud of our enduring air partnership w/ Belgium,” it said.

US Embassy Brussels

US welcomes the decision by the Gov of Belgium to purchase the F-35 fighter aircraft. Belgium will fly @thef35 alongside some of its closest @NATO allies & longtime partners in air defense. US is extremely proud of our enduring air partnership w/ Belgium. @BelgiumDefence

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