Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is awarded a $22,902,038 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract that integrates the government of Belgium into the F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft enterprise. This is part of the government of Belgium’s $5.1 billion agreement with the U.S. government for the procurement of the F-35 air system. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity (N00019-20-C-0048). Work is expected to be complete by September 2023.
Belgium has officially selected the F-35 as its next-generation fighter, becoming the 13th country to join the program, the Belgian government announced in 2018. With that decision, Lockheed Martin has defeated a bid by the governments of Spain, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom for the Eurofighter Typhoon, as well as an informal offer by France for the Dassault Rafale and an option for Belgium to upgrade its existing F-16s. Belgium plans to buy 34 F-35As to replace F-16 inventory, which numbers about 54 jets.