Belgium has rejected French offer of Rafale fighter jets for the country’s bid to replace aging F-16 fighter jets.
“The French government already promised an economic return of$ 4 billion, there is now even $20 billion. This is mainly proof that the lobby machine is running at full speed, Minister of Defense Steven Vandeput (N-VA party) was quoted as saying by De Standaard, Belgian news daily Thursday.
'The French offer is too good to be true. The lobbying is running at full speed that is clear now. But we have opted for a straightforward and objective method via the RfGP (Request for Government Proposal, tender through the authorities). It’s a pity that France is taking a different route. The claims that their offer did not fit within it is simply incorrect. The criteria are clear. Period,” Vandeput said.
Steven Vandeput sees no solution to the replacement of the F-16 in the French proposal. It is best to talk about a collaboration for a new aircraft, but the deadline of 2023, when the first F-16s are taken out of circulation, is therefore unachievable.
Belgium had called for tenders in March to replace its ageing fleet of 34 F-16 fighter aircraft for an estimated $4.2 billion. Lockheed Martin and Eurofighter have submitted an official bid for the program but Dassault has not offered a bid.
The French defense minister, Florence Parly had earlier this month, offered technology and economic partnerships with Belgium, if it is ready to buy Rafale fighter jets.
Qatar and France today signed $12 billion in deals including the purchase of 12 Dassault Rafale jets with an option to buy 36 more fighter planes. The deals were signed between Qatar's Emir and French President Emmanuel Macron during the French president's visit to Doha on Thursday
France has not submitted formal offer to Belgiums bid to replace its aging F-16 fighter jets, has now offered economic and technology partnerships to sell Rafale fighter jets. Belgium had called for tenders in March to replace its ageing fleet of 34 F-16 fighter aircraft for an estimated $4
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