France has pitched for a wide-ranging military contract with Belgium including the sale of Rafale fighter jets manufactured by Dassault Aviation.
The Rafale, manufactured by France’s Dassault Aviation, is competing on the Belgian contract with Lockheed Martin's F-16, Boeing F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab Grippen, Reuters reported Thursday.
Belgium launched a tender in March to replace its ageing fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 planes with 34 new fighters, in a deal that could be worth more than 3.5 billion euros (3.21 billion pounds).
However, the French defence ministry said apart from the supply of equipment, Paris was offering a partnership, including enhanced military cooperation between the two countries, training, and industrial and technical cooperation between companies from both countries.
A French official said Paris had offered the deal instead of responding to the tender offer, which closed earlier on Thursday. The Eurofighter consortium and Lockheed Martin submitted their bids earlier in the day.