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).
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.
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.