A news has been confirmed by the Belgium Government on October 25th, 2018 that Belgium is going to buy 34 new F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from Lockheed Martin.
These new Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II will be bought for replacing the old Lockheed F-16 fighter jets. These Lockheed F-16 fighter jets have been in use of the Belgium Air Force since the last four decades. One other candidate for replacing Lockheed F-16 fighter jets was the Eurofighter Typhoon Jet.
The cost to purchase these new 34 new F-35A fighter jets is going to be about 3.4 billion Euros. According to another estimate about their total lifecycle cost, the Jets are going to cost about 15 billion Euros in total.
Belgium, a part of the NATO countries, is not the first to introduce these state of the art new F-35A Lightning II into their aerial military arsenal. Countries like the Netherlands and Italy have also introduced these new fighter jets in their aerial military forces.
The first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jet was introduced in Belgium as a guest at one of their Belgian Air Force Days held at Kleine Brogel Air Base. This one guest fighter jet was sent by Italy at the Kleine Brogel air base on September 7th, 2018. The airacf6t was placed for a static display for one whole weekend.
The delivery of the first Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jet is expected to be due in 2023 with last of the 34 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighter jets to be delivered by the end of 2030.