Belgium buys 34 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets

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Belgium will buy 34 new F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. This was confirmed by the Belgian Government on Thursday 25 October 2018.

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II will replace the Lockheed F-16 fighter jet, which has been in service in the Belgian Air Force for almost four decades. The only other valid candidate to replace the F-16 was the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet.

The purchase of the 34 new F-35A fighter jets will cost approximately 3.4 billion euros. Total lifecycle cost however is currently estimated to be around 15 billion euros.

Belgium is not the first NATO country to introduce the F-35A Lightning II. Other countries such as The Netherlands and Italy also use the F-35A.

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jet was a remarkable guest during the latest edition of the Belgian Air Force Days at Kleine Brogel Air Base. The Italian Air Force sent one aircraft to Kleine Brogel, where it arrived on Friday 7 September 2018 and was on static display during the entire weekend.

Belgium expects to welcome its first F-35A Lightning II in 2023. The last aircraft will be delivered in 2030.

25 October 2018

Photos: copyright (c) Ivan Coninx

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