Belgium has chosen the F-35 over Typhoon to replace its F-16 jet, according to national news agency Belga, beating Typhoon.
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.
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.
The proposed foreign military sale includes the aircraft, four spare engines and various communication and navigation systems “to provide Belgium with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces,” according to a Defense Security Cooperation Agency statement.
According to Lockheed:
“The F-35 offers unprecedented technology and supportability across the spectrum of military operations and ensures interoperability with key Belgian allies in a continued shared commitment to defense and peacekeeping activities. There are currently more than 200 F-35s flying across the world, and as the fleet continues to expand, the price will continue to decrease – the current life-cycle operating costs are already comparable to today’s 4th Generation fighters.”
The Belgian defence ministry has yet to officially confirm the news.