The Belgian government which has all but decided to buy the F-35 fighter jet may insist on some of the equipment abroad the United States-made fighter to be of European Origin.
While a formal selection between the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 is awaited, Brussels is tilting in favor of the F-35 with only an announcement awaited, local newspaper De Morgen reported based on information from sources in the know.
At a time when European countries have announced their own fighter jet and other defence programs to counter American pressure to increase defence budgets so that they can buy more US-made weapons, Belgium’s move may not be politically correct.
Therefore, while buying the F-35 it will be emphasized that a sizeable equipment on board the F-35 should be of European origin, various local media reported.
The latest technology in the American stealth fighter jet is supposed to have tilted the balance in favor of the F-35 while the over-a- decade old Eurofighter is considered an ageing aircraft.
The US state department has already approved a possible sale of F-35 to Belgium for an estimated 3.6 billion euros.
If selected, Belgium will become the latest European nation to join the F-35 buyers list which includes the UK and the Netherlands.