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Belgium's quest to replace their F-16 fleet

Archibald

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...hopefully they won't burn future F-35s like that unfortunate F-16 (ok, that was a stupid joke).

Somebody should make a meme about this.

Some belgian people... just want to watch F-35s burn like F-16s

https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/mobile/000/005/378/worldburn-top.jpg
 

gTg

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TomcatViP said:
gTg said:
What about the US "deadline" of 14/10/18? Do we have to ask for permission of the US when to announce the outcome of the never ending story?

Today Belgian press reports that:
- The US offer has been extended till the end of the month
- The Belgian gov has been fully briefed by the team of experts in charge of reviewing both offers (LM and Eurofighter)
- Due to the lack of data, the French offer, based essentially on industrial perspectives, was not reviewed by the team

Source (in Fr):
https://www.levif.be/actualite/belgique/f16-le-gouvernement-desormais-en-position-de-choisir-le-futur-avion-de-combat/article-normal-1042389.html
Thanks, finally some news.
Ok, there seems to be a deadline for a specific offer. However i still don't understand why Belgium should be pressed to buy now?
The price of F-35 should drop in the future and any new offer should therefore be cheaper and have more capable aircraft that the one from some years ago?
Or is inflation higher than price drop on F-35? Or did we get a super deal?
 

Michel Van

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The Belgium News agency BELGA
Publish this week end the news that Belgium Government wants to buy the F-35
Information provided by anonymous source in Government BELGA claims

According the Source
On October 4 the Army made Briefing with Government about the Two participate F-35 / Eurofighter
since Dassault not provide any technical papers on Rafale for second evaluation for Belgian army, they out the Race
the original deadline of 14 October was push to end of month because the Election in Belgium
The Belgium Government new deadline is on October 29

https://www.demorgen.be/binnenland/-keuze-voor-f-35-is-gemaakt-bed9666a/?referer=https://www.google.be/
http://www.dhnet.be/actu/monde/l-avion-de-combat-f-35-va-remplacer-les-f-16-vieillissants-5bccbb82cd708c805c4b6008
https://brf.be/national/1222163/
 

TomcatViP

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gTg said:
However i still don't understand why Belgium should be pressed to buy now?
The price of F-35 should drop in the future and any new offer should therefore be cheaper and have more capable aircraft that the one from some years ago?
Or is inflation higher than price drop on F-35? Or did we get a super deal?

In all probability, Belgium can't order before the next lot which should see FOC achieved by then. Hence in all probabilities (read in all certainty) LRIP will have ended by then. Given that LM will be pressed to offer upgrades to achieve a better margin (that's pretty most the DNA of any sane privately owned company), it is reasonable to see this moment as the best one to buy: massive partners orders, end of Block evolution etc... will lead to the bottom of the price curve until this effect come back again latter. So, at the end, we might see Belgium achieving a good bargain with their buy: right on time.

Then on the industrial side, the evolution in the long term might leave room for the Be Industry to catch up with that of their partners (industrial compensations) and compete successfully for the future iterations (upgrade, lot production of parts and systems, etc...). We'll see ;)
 

TomcatViP

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The winner should be officially announced today by the Belgian gov (in all probability) .
 

Michel Van

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It's Official

Belgium buys 34 F-35A from Lockheed-Martin.

In Mean time Protester demonstrate in front of Prime Minister Office
They demand stop this Deal and spend the money for social needs in Belgium...

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/10/23/belgie-kiest-voor-f-35/
 

TomcatViP

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Congrats Belgium...


EDIT:
Same news but now in French (source RTL)

https://www.rtl.be/info/belgique/politique/c-est-officiel-les-f-35-americain-remplaceront-les-f-16-1071477.aspx

With a clear and sharp short explanation from the country's prime minister (video)
 

gTg

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I hope they sign the contracts ASAP! The saga is not over yet.
Newspaper le Soir is already campaigning against the decision in an editorial (behind paywall i can't access, i copy just the title).
F-35: il n’y a donc eu ni transparence ni débat > F-35: There was no transparency or debate

Once it's signed with penalties for cancellation i'll take out the bottle and celebrate.
I can't wait to see them flying over Brussels on national day :)
 

SpudmanWP

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DEATH SPIRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The offer from the Americans was the best in all our seven evaluation criteria,” he later told reporters.
...
Prime Minister Charles Michel’s government said despite a strong desire to support European allies, the F-35 was cheaper for Belgium over the long term, coming in 600 million euros ($684.54 million) under what the government budgeted for.

More at the jump
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-aerospace-belgium/belgium-picks-lockheeds-f-35-over-eurofighter-on-price-idUKKCN1MZ1S0
 

Archibald

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Michel Van said:
It's Official

Belgium buys 34 F-35A from Lockheed-Martin.

In Mean time Protester demonstrate in front of Prime Minister Office
They demand stop this Deal and spend the money for social needs in Belgium...

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/10/23/belgie-kiest-voor-f-35/

Look ma ! A belgian William Proxmire !
 

TomcatViP

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If you have wondered what would be the size of the future BAF when the F-35 would be in full service, here is a vision of the future (counted one extra):

F-35-Elephant-Walk-top.jpg


https://youtu.be/69wlCPkkaCo
 

gTg

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Are the contracts actually signed in the meantime?
There was a lot of press after the selection, but i didn't see a contract announcement.
I may have missed it, but nothing has been posted here either.
 

DWG

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I'd have thought it extremely unlikely a contract has been signed yet, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a year or more. They may have a 'heads of agreement' for the broad terms, but the actual contract agreement will need the lawyers to hammer out every comma, dot every 't' and cross every 'i'.
 

Foo Fighter

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As they say in the advertising world, "Got to have a bit of bubbly for the lawyers".............
 

Michel Van

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The BAF F-16 having hard time
Failing Engines, two F-16 shot down by another F-16 on ground in there own base...

While Capitol Hill is questioning the F-35 program again about it's usability and high cost
Is in mean time Lockheed Martin start to build the F-16 again for Bahrain...

once this news hit Belgium Parlament...

popcorn_stephen_colbert.gif
 

TomcatViP

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I think the F-35 is safe now. Belgian Industry is about to start churning out parts for them and Israeli raids into Syria, while the BAF is stationned in Jordan and would certainly have them observing with attention and pass the words up in the chain of command. No political leaders with a saine mind would not wish to have a similar capability in the future.
 

GTX

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Indeed. Whilst the media and the usual bunch of noise makers might like to dream that the F-35 is going to be killed off they have no basis in reality. If the Belgium Parliament were to believe such idiots than they are the bigger fools...
 

uk 75

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No disrespect to the Belgian Air Force but this topic is neither about "unbuilt" aircraft nor a "secret" project.
On the contrary it is simply inviting guesswork about a country's defence procurement policy.
That in my book is "political" and there are plenty of military aviation websites for such stuff.
 

TomcatViP

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Belgian MoD confirms F-35 commitment to the house:

Le gouvernement De Croo "n’a pas l’intention de mettre fin au contrat d’achat" de 34 chasseurs-bombardiers américains F-35A, a affirmé ce mercredi la ministre de la Défense, Ludivine Dedonder, interrogée par plusieurs députés

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The De Croo government "does not intend to terminate the contract for the purchase" of 34 American F-35A fighter-bombers, Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder said on Wednesday.

« Le gouvernement actuel n’envisage pas de mettre un terme à ce contrat », a répondu Ludivine Dedonder (PS) à la Chambre. « La communication des autorités américaines peut sembler inquiétante, surtout si on la retire de son contexte. L’US Air Force reste bien engagée sur le F-35, qui reste la pierre angulaire de sa capacité de combat. » Et la ministre d’expliquer : « chaque année, les autorités américaines publient un rapport sur les capacités opérationnelles sous leur responsabilité. Il existe trois versions du F-35, le A, le B et le C. La Belgique a acheté la version A. D’après les rapports concernant cette version, aucun manquement en matière de sécurité des vols n’a été constaté. En outre, le nombre de manquements est passé de 13 en 2019 à 8 en 2020 avec une correction systématique planifiée au cours de l’année 2021. Il faut savoir que le F-16 présente encore aujourd’hui un nombre de points d’amélioration supérieur. »

-----------------------
"The current government has no plans to end this contract," Ludivine Dedonder (PS) told the House. “The communication from the American authorities can seem worrying, especially if we take it out of context. The US Air Force remains firmly engaged on the F-35, which remains the cornerstone of its combat capability. "And the minister explained:" Every year, the American authorities publish a report on the operational capacities under their responsibility. There are three versions of the F-35, the A, the B and the C. Belgium bought version A. According to reports for this version, no flight safety deficiencies were found. In addition, the number of reported deficiencies decreased from 13 in 2019 to 8 in 2020 with a systematic correction planned during the year 2021.
It should be noted that the F-16 today still has a superior number of deficiency points noted for improvement."

 
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