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US State Department approves potential F-35 sale to Belgium

Posted by Colton Jones on

The US State Department approved a potential Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Belgium of 34 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing aircraft.

According to the U.S. State Department, the estimated total of the proposed deal is $6.53 billion.

The Government of Belgium has requested to buy 34  Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and 38 F-135 engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney (34 installed, 4 spares).

More: Australia to receive next eight F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft in 2018

This proposed sale of F-35s will provide Belgium with a credible defense capability to deter aggression in the region and ensure interoperability with U.S. forces.  The proposed sale will augment Belgium’s operational aircraft inventory and enhance it’s air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability.  Belgium will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.

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The Defense News reported that the F-35 is overwhelmingly considered the favorite for the Belgian fighter competition, which will replace the country’s 54 F-16s with 34 new jets. Should Belgium select the joint strike fighter, the total value of the deal will likely change after negotiations, as DSCA often puts forward a high contract estimate.

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