Belgium delays, rescopes fighter programme

19 June 2018

Belgium’s ongoing programme to replace its Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon fleet has been hit by another roadblock, as the government considers a previously disregarded option to upgrade its incumbent fleet and not necessarily acquire a new-build aircraft.

Two offerings were being considered for the replacement of the F-16AM/BM fleet under the country’s Air Combat Capability Program (ACCaP), including the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Final bids for the two aircraft were offered to the Belgian government under the formal acquisition process in February 2018.

In addition to this, Dassault Aviation submitted a bid for the Rafale fighter outside the formal competition, offering increased political links and industrial participation in return for a direct selection of the aircraft.

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