The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin $23 million to integrate Belgium into the F-35 Lightning II program.
“Lockheed Martin is awarded a $22.9 million contract that integrates the government of Belgium into the F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft enterprise,” read a Tuesday statement from Pentagon.
In October 2018, Belgium became 13th nation in the world to join the program when it picked the F-35A jet to replace its ageing F-16s. Earlier that year, the US State Department approved a $6.5 billion deal to sell 34 F-35 fighters to Brussels.
The F-35A beat Eurofighter in a close contest to win the deal, mainly owing to its ability to drop US-made B-61 nuclear bombs and superior stealth features.
“This is part of the government of Belgium's $5.1 billion agreement with the US government for the procurement of the F-35 air system. Work is expected to be complete by September 2023,” the Pentagon said further.