With the Belgian government’s selection of the F-35A, Belgium becomes the 13th nation to join the F-35 program of record. This selection, building off Lockheed Martin’s strong, proven track record in Belgium, is a testament to the nation’s confidence in the F-35 to meet its national security, industrial and economic needs for decades to come. Belgium’s allies â€“ the U.S., U.K., Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Italy â€“ are F-35 program participants. For this reason, the aircraft serves as the ultimate solution for interoperability with NATO and other allied assets. From logistics and capability to the capacity to conduct coalition activities and peacekeeping operations, this advanced 5th Gen aircraft positions Belgium favorably for current and future missions.
The foundation of Belgium’s F-35 program is rooted in longstanding, reliable partnerships with the government and industry. The Belgian Air Force began flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules in the 1970s. More than 40 years later, this strong partnership lives on in the Lightning II. Since then, Belgian industry has played a significant role in the manufacturing and sustainment of Lockheed Martin products. Just like the F-16 has for more than four decades, the F-35 program is poised to generate high-quality, long-term jobs for Belgium long into the future. Across Belgium’s three regions, Lockheed Martin continues to actively work with dozens of Belgian companies on expanding business opportunities, signifying a strong commitment to exploring industrial cooperation in high-technology defense, aerospace, cyber and security sectors. Within Belgium, there are also six higher education institutions that are included in the industrial participation program.
Alongside the economic and industrial benefits, the enhanced interoperability and transformational capabilities the F-35 brings to Belgium are unmatched. With stealth technology, advanced sensors, weapons capacity and range, the F-35 is the most capable, survivable and connected fighter aircraft ever built enabling pilots to perform their mission and return home safely. The F-35 delivers unrivaled value as the most capable, lowest life-cycle cost aircraft with near and long-term industrial participation opportunities. With its newest participant, Belgium, the F-35 enterprise continues to enhance global security, strengthen critical alliances and drive economic growth today â€“ and tomorrow.