Belgium has officially chosen the F-35 over Typhoon to replace its F-16 jet, confirming earlier speculation.

This news makes Belgium the 12th country to buy the jet.

Earlier in the year, the UK submitted its final Typhoon offer to Belgium on behalf of itself and partner companies. The proposal included 34 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, underpinned by the offer of a “deep strategic, defence and industrial partnership” between the Governments of Belgium and the UK.

Previously, Sweden announced it would not be entering Saab’s Gripen E for Belgium’s fighter contest, the country’s defence ministry announced in July last year. Boeing also withdrew its Super Hornet deal.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement:

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

With its selection, Belgium becomes the 13th nation to join the F-35 program of record, a testament to the government’s confidence in the program and its industrial benefits. Lockheed Martin looks forward to extending the relationship with the Belgian government and industry participants for decades to come.

The 5th generation F-35 delivers unmatched value as the most capable, lowest life-cycle cost aircraft with the strongest industrial participation opportunity. With each new customer, the F-35 continues to enhance global security, strengthen critical alliances and drive economic growth.”

In January this year the US preemptively approved a sale of 34 F-35 jets to Belgium. The deal is worth  $6.53 billion and is also expected include electronic warfare system and the Autonomic Logistics Information System.

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P tattersall

It’s fast becoming a massive success the F35 after all the troll rubbish on this site and others .Plenty of world class aviation experts on UK DJ .


PT wrote: “It’s fast becoming a massive success the F35 after all the troll rubbish on this site and others .Plenty of world class aviation experts on UK DJ .” Bit harsh, from what I can see, the vast majority of posters on here have championed the F35, with a point of view that we should purchase more. I have to admit, I’m not all in favour and feel that the British Government should purchase the organic Gloster Gladiator, which not only be 100% made in the Uk, but due to it being made out of wood and canvas, will… Read more »

Steve Taylor

The Dutch had already picked F-35 so no surprise that the Belgians would follow.

There is no other option too.

G Trooper

Now that’s excellent comment!

P tattersall

Farouk the ruskie troll lot who post
have time and time again rubbished the plane .


What does everyone reckon regarding the budget then? 1 billion extra for cyber and asw. It would think we might get an extra few p8 airframes then?

Daniele Mandelli

For ASW? I’d read it was for Dreadnaught.

It should be 1 billion per year not a one off.


It’s for the rest of this financial year and next. For cyber asw and dreadnought somehow


(Chris H) – The £1 Bn is for the 17 months to the end of the 2019 / 20 Financial year and the £800 Bn for Dreadnought is a separate drawdown for long lead items from a £10 Bn Treasury contingency fund

Mark Latchford

As The Telegraph reported it was going to be £500 million a couple of days ago I was pleasantly surprised!


Pretty good budget overall, good news about personal allowance and good news about the national minimum living wage increase although it should be increased further still. Good news too about the fuel duty freeze, the price of fuel these days stops some people from making journeys they otherwise would have. I was glad to see some investment for motorways too, a good motorway network is a foundation of a nation’s economy and we have really fallen behind other comparable European countries in this area. The A1 between Newcastle and Edinburgh should be made a motorway, it is disgraceful that it… Read more »

Lee H

Evening all
£1bn over two years, so Telegraph half right.
Money has now been committed, on top of the extra money given in the summer.
It gives the MoD room for manoeuvre now with MDP coming up.
Interesting times ahead


Phil mentioned it was 1BN in lieu of the full review next year. For me it recognizes there is a funding issue and hopefully will be taken into account in the fuller review.

I suspect it’s readiness and crews rather than extra kit at this stage (for asw) as well as acceleration of dreadnought program in order to save money later.

Nigel Collins

What are they hiding? “Work on the F-35, by a consortium led by the US-based Lockheed Martin, began in 1996 and was scheduled for completion in 2012 but has been beset by problems. The US estimate of the total cost of the programme jumped from £174bn in 2001 to £283bn this year. Advertisement The MoD has so far refused to provide the estimated cost to the UK of buying the F-35, beyond referring to a National Audit Office report that put the total UK cost of the programme through to 2026 at £9.1bn. The MoD declined to offer even a… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Could this be the reason? The total SDD bill, up to the incomplete development of Block 3F and the arbitrary end of SDD, is $55.5 billion (in then-year $). This means that the JPO is implying that a mere 20% add-on (Winter’s $11 billion) to the prior development bill will pay for: a) completing and flight testing Block 3F, b) fixing and flight testing 1000+ known and serious SDD deficiencies, c) fixing and flight testing the myriad undiscovered deficiencies sure to emerge during the much more rigorous IOT&E tests starting next year, and d) developing and flight testing the whole… Read more »


Still cheaper than Typhoon and with 5th gen capabilities too.

Nigel Collins

Not quite sure how you worked that one out Ron5?

“However, it is simply not acceptable for the MoD to refuse to disclose to parliament and the public its estimates for the total cost of the programme and to suggest instead that we must wait until the mid-2030s (when all 138 F-35s have been procured) to be able to work out a full unit cost for each aircraft, once spares and upgrades are included.”


(Chris H) Nigel Collins – and here we go again .. your favourite hobbyhorse supported by not a lot. But if you are so clued up on F-35 and are so keen on the costs why aren’t you so keen on the benefits of the UK being a Tier One Partner? You present a very negative one sided argument. LM and others reckon the F-35 programme has benefited UK manufacturing to the tune of $12.9 Bn as of January 2018 when some 300 aircraft have been built. Given its a 3,000 aircraft programme that could benefit UK Incorporated to the… Read more »

Nigel Collins

Let’s see what the total cost and numbers are as nobody really seems to know Chris H apart from you that is! and what value the F35 will actually have ten years from now. It will not have full weapons capability until 2025 including internal fitting of Meteor, providing we pay for the upgrade to Block 4 software and hardware (4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4) “EDITOR’S NOTE: The is no hurry for F-35 operators to decide, as the new Raytheon DAS will only be available, together with the Block 4 upgrade, until after 2023, when the first Lot 15 production aircraft… Read more »

Nigel Collins

I wonder if this will be the case seven years from now? “And Possibly” ” may not be able to” Already doubts are starting to appear! October 11/18: F-35i vs S-300 An Israeli official claims that Syria’s new S-300 is not a match for the IAF’s F-35i fighter aircraft. The official told external link Israel’s Army Radio on Wednesday that the Russian supplied air-defence missile system can be “defeated by Israel’s stealth fighters and possibly destroyed on the ground”. Tzachi Hanegbi also told the radio station that the S-300’s capabilities had long been factored into Israeli planning. The F-35 is… Read more »

J Fleming

A lot of countries have made a huge mistake with the very expensive, very expensive to operate and unreliable, F-35. And soon if not already not really stealthy either.


Bit off topic. Looks like someone other than BAe is stepping up to the plate to keep the UK in the jet trainer market.

3 aircraft options.

Steve Taylor

It looks like a Gnat and Alpha had a baby.