Sweden will not submit an answer to Belgian Ministry of Defence’ (MoD) Request for Information (RFI) to replace its current F-16 fleet as it cannot follow Belgian request for extensive operational support.
The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration FMV said on Monday that Gripen is a highly advanced and cost-effective fighter aircraft system that fully meets the operational requirements in the Belgian request for proposal, but in their request Belgium is also seeking extensive operational support from the delivering nation.
The Belgian Ministry of Defence had sent a Request for Information (RFI) to five foreign government agencies to evaluate five different candidates to replace the current F-16 fleet in 2014.
The aircraft under evaluation include Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Saab JAS-39 Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockeed Martin F-35A.
The fleet is composed by 54 Mid-Life updated F-16s and their retirement is expected from 2020. The Belgian AF needs to receive at least a number of 40 aircraft to remain a reliable NATO partner.