Lockheed Martin Aeronautics is awarded a $22.9 million cost-plus-fixed-fee contract that integrates the government of Belgium into the F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft enterprise.
This is part of Belgium’s $5.1 billion agreement with the U.S. government for the procurement of the F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter aircraft. The contract covers initial non-recurring engineering and program support for F-35 production, logistics and sustainment.
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) funds for the contract amount will be obligated at the time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Department of the Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) at Patuxent River, Maryland is the contracting activity (N00019-20-C-0048).
The contract work will be performed at Fort Worth, Texas (60%); Orlando, Florida (10%); Redondo Beach, California (10%); El Segundo, California (10%); and Lancashire, United Kingdom (10%), It is expected to be complete by September 2023.
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of American fifth-generation, single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters designed to perform ground-attack and air-superiority missions. The aircraft was developed and is built by Lockheed Martin and its subcontractors, which include Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney, and BAE Systems.
F-35 has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based catapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.
In September 2018, it was announced that Belgium has chosen F-35A CTOL jets over the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon combat jets in a $4.55 billion deal. The Belgian Air Force began flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon jets in the 1970s.
Belgium is planning to procure 34 F-35As, two flight simulators, support equipment, training, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems. The first of the new fighter planes are expected to arrive in the country in 2023.
With this selection of the F-35A, Belgium became the 13th nation to join the F-35 program of record.