The Ministry of Defence has submitted its final Eurofighter Typhoon offer to Belgium on behalf of itself and partner companies.

The proposal includes 34 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, underpinned by the offer of a deep strategic, defence and industrial partnership between the Governments of Belgium and the UK.

Speaking in Brussels, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“These proven jets offer Belgium a formidable capability which forms the backbone of European air power, as well as a comprehensive long-term defence and industrial partnership with the UK. A unique partnership with the RAF and integration with our world-leading support service mean Belgium’s selection of the Typhoon would be a powerful demonstration of us working together to support security across the continent in the face of intensifying threats.”

Speaking at the press conference in-country, Air Vice Marshal Keith Bethell said:

“Our world-class Typhoon has led the way in combat air power and this demonstrates the continued confidence in the capability the Typhoon has to offer. With more than 20,000 flying hours on global operations to date, the Typhoon offers unparalleled reliability and proven interoperability with our allies.”

As well as the jets, the UK are offering Belgium the opportunity to benefit from the RAF’s experience of over ten years operating the Typhoon, and to further strengthen over 70 years of co-operation between the two forces say the Ministry of Defence. It proposes integration with the RAF’s Typhoon support arrangements which is considered the most cost-effective next generation combat aircraft support service.

The proposal also includes a comprehensive package including a training partnership which would see personnel from Belgium and the UK jointly train and exercise together.


  1. Belgians: “how do we get a better deal on the F35?..oh yes, lets have the token inclusion of the Typhoon to make it look like we don’t have to go with the F35, that will do it”.

  2. Does anyone know what radar is in this bid – is it the older widely deployed CAPTOR or is it the newer CAPTOR-E AESA version? Or maybe something altogether different although I would be surprised if that was the case.

    • Exactly my thoughts.

      I think at this point it’s a given that they are going to go ahead with the F-35. Brexit is not helping things either.

      The Typhoon would be a perfect fit for most European air forces ( even complementing the F-35 in many ways ). The irony is that it is also called the Eurofighter.

    • Possibly; but the Netherlands and going F-35A, France is offering a ‘strategic partnership’ with Rafale. A ‘strategic’ relationship with the UK based on Typhoon, including training opportunities, servicing, pilot exchange…could well be attractive to the Belgians if they want to assert their independence as a nation and keep the peace between the Walloons and the Flemish. Belgium would normally follow Germany but they can’t decide between F-35 and Typhoon which would create German jobs, to replace their Tornados.
      Best of luck to the MOD. This bid could work.

  3. Given that the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Italy have opted for the F35 it seems reasonable to consider the aircraft is favourite.

    • Apart from the UK and Italy’s need for a Harrier replacement (hence the ‘B’) I think you will find:
      The Netherlands uses entirely US aircraft with the F-16 the main fighter platform
      Denmark has a very similar aircraft profile to The Netherlands but uses UK helicopters
      Norway has a very similar profile to both the above

      So basically they all use the F-16 and migrated to the F-35. Sadly Belgium also uses the F-16 (and other US aircraft) so I doubt they will go for a twin engined Typhoon having managed with a single engined F-16.

      Personally I think the biggest export hope for Typhoon is Canada as the Typhoon replicates and exceeds the roles their CF-18s carry out. And the USA are not flavour of the month right now …

      • The only serious opportunities for the Typhoon is a follow up order from Saudi Arabia which is looking increasingly less likely and Germany which will be primarily for political reasons. Canada won’t order it, Malaysia won’t order it and neither will Belgium.
        The only jet that stands a change is the Gripen as it’s the only one that can compete on cost and flexibility.

        • Hi BB85, Typhoon is an out-standing combat jet, and considerably more flexible and capable than the Gripen. (Described to me once as a Swedish F-16!) Agreed – the Saab jet’s running costs are lower, but that tells a story in itself.
          The Belgian air-force still thinks of itself as a top player, and I would expect it to choose a fighter aircraft that matches those ambitions. (That is, if the ruling government allows it to!). I expect it be a straight fight between F-35A and the Typhoon.
          F-35A is the favourite – although Belgium doesn’t need many of the advanced capabilities of the American jet (not many counties do!). Typhoon is a much better fit – and the MoD have put forward an imaginative offer. So here’s hoping ……………………….

  4. It’s about which aircraft suites the requirement ofbthis airforce. The 35 is a more capable one that perhaps they don’t require. And maybe there is a minimum number they need which might not be possible with the extra cost of the 35

      • Western & central European states don’t need stealth, especially in small numbers. They need the best swing role fighters in the world for a slug fest – that would be the Typhoon.

  5. I wonder why the UK is leading this bid on behalf of Eurofighter, for some reason I think the Germans or even Italians are more likely to lead? I guess I think the Brexit controversy gets in the way for some reason. I suspect Rafale will win….simply because there is current joint training and support already in place between France and Belgium for Alpha Jet and they could try to repeat this for Rafale. Good luck Typhoon, lets keep those lines open!

  6. I just imagine our American friends in these circumstances making a discrete call………….

    “guess who ultimately guarantees your nation’s defence? Yes that’s right, you are buying the F35”.

    • No need, they’ve wanted F35 from the get go, as I said in previous post, the Typhoon is simply being used as negotiating tactic to get a better deal.

  7. Afternoon all
    As I may have mentioned this morning the Typhoon platform, whilst sufficient for the Belgian role is not the unique selling point the the U.K. MoD has to offer.
    The Germans, Italians and Spanish whilst all partners do not have something unique to offer that the U.K. MoD do. Hence the offer is from U.K. MoD and not BAES.
    Read paragraph 7, in Europe quite simply “nobody does it better”


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