Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2013, 22:49
by spazsinbad
Exclusive: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s - source 17 Sep 2013 Andrea Shalal-Esa
"(Reuters) - U.S. government officials have briefed the Belgian government about the capabilities of the Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) F-35 fighter jet, as Brussels prepares to replace its aging fleet of 60 F-16s, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The source, who was not authorised to speak publicly, said Belgium was considering buying 35 to 55 of the new radar-evading F-35 jets. No decisions are expected until late 2014 at the earliest after next year's elections in Belgium....

...Lockheed's F-35 programme manager, Lorraine Martin, declined comment, saying that foreign military sales are handled by the U.S. government.

U.S. defence officials had no immediate comment...."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/1 ... 4820130917

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 16:47
by zerion

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 23:51
by thenonflyingdutchman
B61's @ Kleine Brogel Air Base, so F-35 it will be.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 05:12
by popcorn
Do the other suppliers realistically think they have a shot at this?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 07:23
by Corsair1963
Little doubt that Belgium will select the F-35..... :wink:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 09:52
by joost
Look who is back in the comments! Troll Slowman! He wouldn't give up after all his misjudgements and mispredictions...now advocating for the Gripen. So we can be sure of one thing given his track record: The Gripen will not be selected. :D

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 14:17
by XanderCrews
joost wrote:Look who is back in the comments! Troll Slowman! He wouldn't give up after all his misjudgements and mispredictions...now advocating for the Gripen. So we can be sure of one thing given his track record: The Gripen will not be selected. :D


LOL indeed I noticed that too, also since when is the Gripen NG "proven"? did I miss something?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 14:40
by thenonflyingdutchman
The real question is how few F35's will Belgium be able to buy?

If i'm not mistaken the new government is going to slash defence spending with another 1 billion € by 2018. That's roughly a whopping 25% of their budget.
Take in account that of all NATO-members Belgium is near the bottom of the list when it comes to putting money aside for future investment in new military equipment. And new fighters are not the only thing on their wishlist.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 16:12
by KamenRiderBlade
Isn't Belgium part of that recent defense pact for all NATO countries in Europe to raise their defense spending to 2% of their GDP?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 19:26
by Bjorn
This is a personnel opinion, not an F-16.net stand.

We promise everything and do nothing (or even worse, the contrary). I'm a Belgian citizen and appaled with what is decided upon now. We have been slashing our defense budget for the past 25 years. This year the defense budget will be lower than in 1994. Can you imagine! It's time for an external partner (be it a country or pool of countries or organisation - being NATO) that say, if you don't pay more, you're not allowed in the club any longer. Up untill last year we thought that defense was always mistreated when it came to spending. With a new center-right government in place and a formal agreement to give defense the money it needs to furfill its obligations we where baffled when we saw the 2015 budget with a reduction of € 225 million for this year and consequitive reductions of € 45 million every year after. This means a total ruduction € 1,575 billion untill 2019. Belgian defense spending was around € 2,67 billion in 2014 which represented 0,7% of GDP. It will fall to € 2,265 billion in 2019, meaning 0,59% of GDP in constant prices of 2014. This at a time when personnel costs already amount to 71% of the overall budget, training 20% and investments at 9%. A hell of a way apart from the ideal 50/25/25. And also in a time when international tensions haven't been as high as in the past 25 years.

I'm really ashamed to be a citizen of this country as far as defense spending is concerned. We aren't cutting our part of the deal. We haven't been for the past 35 years and surely won't be doing it in the future.

I'm not an advocate for 2% of GDP. We don't need it. But if we would just keep it at 0,85% GDP, then we would have a budget of around € 3,15 billion and we would be able to perfectly furfill all our obligations.

With a huge investment program ahead in the 2020-2030 period of amounting over € 10 billion (successor F-16: € 4 billion, fregates: € 550 million, minesweapers: € 450 million, commandvessel: € 150 million, A-400M: € 1,2 billion, helicopters: € 800 million, all land vehicles: € 2,6 billion, recce drones: € 400 million, probably forgetting a billion or two now). I just don't see it any more.

Greets,

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 23:25
by LinkF16SimDude
joost wrote:Look who is back in the comments! Troll Slowman! He wouldn't give up after all his misjudgements and mispredictions...now advocating for the Gripen. So we can be sure of one thing given his track record: The Gripen will not be selected. :D
Is that the sound of a door slamming shut on Slowman? Never let facts get in the way of your argument. :lol: :lol:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 06:01
by Corsair1963
Bjorn wrote:This is a personnel opinion, not an F-16.net stand.

We promise everything and do nothing (or even worse, the contrary). I'm a Belgian citizen and appaled with what is decided upon now. We have been slashing our defense budget for the past 25 years. This year the defense budget will be lower than in 1994. Can you imagine! It's time for an external partner (be it a country or pool of countries or organisation - being NATO) that say, if you don't pay more, you're not allowed in the club any longer. Up untill last year we thought that defense was always mistreated when it came to spending. With a new center-right government in place and a formal agreement to give defense the money it needs to furfill its obligations we where baffled when we saw the 2015 budget with a reduction of € 225 million for this year and consequitive reductions of € 45 million every year after. This means a total ruduction € 1,575 billion untill 2019. Belgian defense spending was around € 2,67 billion in 2014 which represented 0,7% of GDP. It will fall to € 2,265 billion in 2019, meaning 0,59% of GDP in constant prices of 2014. This at a time when personnel costs already amount to 71% of the overall budget, training 20% and investments at 9%. A hell of a way apart from the ideal 50/25/25. And also in a time when international tensions haven't been as high as in the past 25 years.

I'm really ashamed to be a citizen of this country as far as defense spending is concerned. We aren't cutting our part of the deal. We haven't been for the past 35 years and surely won't be doing it in the future.

I'm not an advocate for 2% of GDP. We don't need it. But if we would just keep it at 0,85% GDP, then we would have a budget of around € 3,15 billion and we would be able to perfectly furfill all our obligations.

With a huge investment program ahead in the 2020-2030 period of amounting over € 10 billion (successor F-16: € 4 billion, fregates: € 550 million, minesweapers: € 450 million, commandvessel: € 150 million, A-400M: € 1,2 billion, helicopters: € 800 million, all land vehicles: € 2,6 billion, recce drones: € 400 million, probably forgetting a billion or two now). I just don't see it any more.

Greets,


Why not 2% of GDP??? Should others put up Belgium responsibility??? If, not maybe they shouldn't be afford the protection of NATO. :?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 12:06
by bring_it_on
Belgium shouldn't be very hard to secure, especially given the timelines involved. There are also changes in Finland and possibly even Poland for the future competitions.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 12:43
by vilters
@ Bjorn

Good post but it is worse then that.

You forget the training aircraft that are as old as . . . . . . . . . .
Replacing the SF-260 and the &-Jets is also something that has been pushed forward......

We killed our own Defense budget when we bought the A-400M

The A-400M is the wrong aircraft for our mission and we bought too many.
Ever landed a heavy "T" tail A/C on a dirt strip?
Day in, day out?

We only bought the thing because of the "French" connection refused to buy the new C-130, that is a far better A/C for what we are doing with them.

Now , we are broke.
No money left for new trainer A/C, no money for F-35. (or other)
Buy European, and you pay double for getting half.
Buy Italian, and you pay tripple for getting a third.

The offers look good on paper, but only on paper.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 14:34
by KamenRiderBlade
vilters wrote:@ Bjorn

Good post but it is worse then that.

You forget the training aircraft that are as old as . . . . . . . . . .
Replacing the SF-260 and the &-Jets is also something that has been pushed forward......

We killed our own Defense budget when we bought the A-400M

The A-400M is the wrong aircraft for our mission and we bought too many.
Ever landed a heavy "T" tail A/C on a dirt strip?
Day in, day out?

We only bought the thing because of the "French" connection refused to buy the new C-130, that is a far better A/C for what we are doing with them.

Now , we are broke.
No money left for new trainer A/C, no money for F-35. (or other)
Buy European, and you pay double for getting half.
Buy Italian, and you pay tripple for getting a third.

The offers look good on paper, but only on paper.


Isn't there a Inter European discount?

Or an option to sell excess transports?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 21:14
by Bjorn
@Corsair1963

I don't know where you reside, but stating this obviously shows you are not informed about the way we spend our money here. Why I see no need for 2% GDP? We have another problem and it is called splintering. European countries spend about 60% of the budget the US spends on defense and it only gets 30% of the US's output. So there's a huge potential for efficiency improvement. If we should do that and we would raise the budget to that level we would get that 60% output. That is enough for me. We don't need to compete with the US. We should be able to ensure we are safe ourselves and be able to make a fist if we need to.

@Vilters

You are right about the training aircraft. I didn't mention those. But they will be a minor investment because it is already known that we won't replace them on ourselves. We are in a mutual training program with France and a number of countries are set to join that training program with a pooled buy. We will not pay for more than 5-7 aircraft of that pool. So not that much of an investment. If needed at all. When we would abolish our fighters (still not sure whether F-16 replacement will go through despite being mentioned at government level and procedure start, will believe it when first a/c hits the tarmac in 2022 or so), we don't need pilots to fly them either. Could do with about 2-3 aircraft to furfill our training needs.

I don't per se say that the A400M is the wrong aircraft. But we surely bought too many. About 4-5 will do I think. Instead we should have invested - together with for example the Netherlands - in 2-3 C-17s for strategic transport. Or extend the pool of NATO C-17s at Papa AB.

Greets,

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Jan 2015, 23:53
by KamenRiderBlade
Bjorn wrote:@Corsair1963

I don't know where you reside, but stating this obviously shows you are not informed about the way we spend our money here. Why I see no need for 2% GDP? We have another problem and it is called splintering. European countries spend about 60% of the budget the US spends on defense and it only gets 30% of the US's output. So there's a huge potential for efficiency improvement. If we should do that and we would raise the budget to that level we would get that 60% output. That is enough for me. We don't need to compete with the US. We should be able to ensure we are safe ourselves and be able to make a fist if we need to.

@Vilters

You are right about the training aircraft. I didn't mention those. But they will be a minor investment because it is already known that we won't replace them on ourselves. We are in a mutual training program with France and a number of countries are set to join that training program with a pooled buy. We will not pay for more than 5-7 aircraft of that pool. So not that much of an investment. If needed at all. When we would abolish our fighters (still not sure whether F-16 replacement will go through despite being mentioned at government level and procedure start, will believe it when first a/c hits the tarmac in 2022 or so), we don't need pilots to fly them either. Could do with about 2-3 aircraft to furfill our training needs.

I don't per se say that the A400M is the wrong aircraft. But we surely bought too many. About 4-5 will do I think. Instead we should have invested - together with for example the Netherlands - in 2-3 C-17s for strategic transport. Or extend the pool of NATO C-17s at Papa AB.

Greets,


So what do you think is causing Belgium's inefficiency?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2015, 02:55
by vilters
This video explains all about Belgium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceg6NQKHd70

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 16 Jan 2015, 03:04
by spazsinbad
:mrgreen: Switzerland but a little less wealthy? That is Belgique? :devil: At least the Belgickans eat and make my favourite foodstuffs. Chips and Chocolate. COOL. :doh:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2015, 12:45
by spazsinbad
Benelux countries sign air defence pact
05 Mar 2015 Eric Maurice

"The three Benelux countries, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, Wednesday (4 March) agreed to share surveillance and protection of their air spaces, in the first agreement of its kind among EU countries.

Starting from 2017, Belgian and Dutch air forces will take turn to monitor the Benelux airspace. Luxembourg has no military airforce and will only open its air space to its neighbours’ jets.

The common missions will involve the so-called 'Renegade' procedure aimed at identifying suspect civil aircrafts that might pose a terrorist threat.

"The agreement is a step forward in the intensification of European military cooperation", said Belgian prime minister Charles Michel in a statement....

...This agreement for shared missions will come as a relief for the Dutch air force. The old F16 fleet is supposed to be replaced by 2019 by new F35 jets, but the programme has been running late and costs have rocketed.

Belgium also plans to renew its F16 fleet by 2018. The French Rafale is a candidate but the enhanced cooperation with Netherlands might tilt the decision towards the American F-35."

Source: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/11 ... The-Bridge

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2015, 13:14
by joost
spazsinbad wrote:At least the Belgickans eat and make my favourite foodstuffs. Chips and Chocolate. COOL. :doh:


Do not forget the Belgium beers... :pint:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2015, 13:40
by spazsinbad
:mrgreen: Heheh. I gave up smokin' and drinkin' a long time ago but not the chocs or chips! :devil:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2015, 20:41
by tritonprime
"Belgium Forced to Buy F-35 If Nuclear Strike Mission Maintained"
(Source: L’Avenir; published April 19, 2015

Source:
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... ssion.html

(Published in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
How will we replace our F-16 fighter-bombers? Experts and industry officials suggest that a single criterion contained in the specification - the ability to carry a nuclear bomb - may swing the competition to favor the American F-35 over its four potential competitors.

"If the nuclear requirement is included in the Request for Proposal, the tender that the Defence ministry must issue in the autumn), the door is wide open for the F-35,” an industry officials told the Belga news agency.

Of the five aircraft currently competing to replace, from 2023, the aging F-16s (Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II; Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; Dassault Aviation Rafale F3R; Saab JAS-39E/F Gripen and Airbus Group Eurofighter), only the F-35 will be able to operate the nuclear strike mission carrying the American B-61 nuclear free-fall bomb.

For decades, Belgium has assumed nuclear missions within NATO, but these were gradually reduced to one, assigned to fighter-bombers stationed at Kleine-Brogel air base (F-84E, F-104G and since 1982 the F-16A). These aircraft are able to carry and drop the American B-61 nuclear bomb, although the presence of these weapons on Belgian air bases - ten to twenty bombs, according to unofficial estimates - is generally "neither confirmed nor denied."

The current Minister of Defense, Steven Vandeput (N-VA), suggested last month that the precise requirements to be answered aircraft to succeed the F-16 will be identified in the strategic plan that he is preparing to submit to the government cabinet in the coming weeks.

"The technical specifications depend on the level of commitment, and we will define in the strategic plan exactly what is expected of the new fighter," he told the Parliamentary Defense Committee, without however providing any further clarification.

If Belgium decided to retain its only remaining nuclear task, and if the RFP confirms this requirement, only the F-35A - the conventional take-off and landing version of the new American Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be compliant.

This aircraft was designed for a dual role (conventional and nuclear) and should be able to carry the B-61 nuclear bomb later in its development, probably after 2022. This is not the case for the other contenders for the Belgian competition, with the exception of the French Rafale.

The Boeing F-18E Super Hornet is not nuclear-capable, Hans Kristensen, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) told Belga on Thursday. The Swedish government for its part prohibits any Gripen sales that could involve a nuclear role. As for the Airbus Group’s Eurofighter, it was conceived as an interceptor and is only acquiring attack capabilities very slowly. No European user (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Austria) has however considered giving it a nuclear capability.

There remains the case of the French Rafale. This aircraft, which its manufacturer describes as "omnirole," is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, this is the ASMP-A missile (improved medium range air-to-ground missile), developed in France for France’s nuclear forces, and thus not easily exportable. As for the integration of the American B-61 on the Rafale, it appears as politically unrealistic and financially costly, say industrialists and experts.


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Some observers say the Belgian defense staff is using the nuclear argument to push its preferred fighter, the F-35, without appearing to meddle in the selection process.
Others say that the nuclear issue is a red herring, and that the decision rests on whether the Belgian government wants to align its air force with the Netherlands (F-35) or with France, in which case it would go with Rafale.
In both cases, aircraft performance and price are likely to have very little influence on the final decision.)

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2015, 04:37
by m
tritonprime wrote:"Belgium Forced to Buy F-35 If Nuclear Strike Mission Maintained"
(Source: L’Avenir; published April 19, 2015

Source:
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... ssion.html

(Published in French; unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
How will we replace our F-16 fighter-bombers? Experts and industry officials suggest that a single criterion contained in the specification - the ability to carry a nuclear bomb - may swing the competition to favor the American F-35 over its four potential competitors.

"If the nuclear requirement is included in the Request for Proposal, the tender that the Defence ministry must issue in the autumn), the door is wide open for the F-35,” an industry officials told the Belga news agency.

Of the five aircraft currently competing to replace, from 2023, the aging F-16s (Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II; Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet; Dassault Aviation Rafale F3R; Saab JAS-39E/F Gripen and Airbus Group Eurofighter), only the F-35 will be able to operate the nuclear strike mission carrying the American B-61 nuclear free-fall bomb.

For decades, Belgium has assumed nuclear missions within NATO, but these were gradually reduced to one, assigned to fighter-bombers stationed at Kleine-Brogel air base (F-84E, F-104G and since 1982 the F-16A). These aircraft are able to carry and drop the American B-61 nuclear bomb, although the presence of these weapons on Belgian air bases - ten to twenty bombs, according to unofficial estimates - is generally "neither confirmed nor denied."

The current Minister of Defense, Steven Vandeput (N-VA), suggested last month that the precise requirements to be answered aircraft to succeed the F-16 will be identified in the strategic plan that he is preparing to submit to the government cabinet in the coming weeks.

"The technical specifications depend on the level of commitment, and we will define in the strategic plan exactly what is expected of the new fighter," he told the Parliamentary Defense Committee, without however providing any further clarification.

If Belgium decided to retain its only remaining nuclear task, and if the RFP confirms this requirement, only the F-35A - the conventional take-off and landing version of the new American Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) will be compliant.

This aircraft was designed for a dual role (conventional and nuclear) and should be able to carry the B-61 nuclear bomb later in its development, probably after 2022. This is not the case for the other contenders for the Belgian competition, with the exception of the French Rafale.

The Boeing F-18E Super Hornet is not nuclear-capable, Hans Kristensen, a nuclear expert at the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) told Belga on Thursday. The Swedish government for its part prohibits any Gripen sales that could involve a nuclear role. As for the Airbus Group’s Eurofighter, it was conceived as an interceptor and is only acquiring attack capabilities very slowly. No European user (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Austria) has however considered giving it a nuclear capability.

There remains the case of the French Rafale. This aircraft, which its manufacturer describes as "omnirole," is capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, this is the ASMP-A missile (improved medium range air-to-ground missile), developed in France for France’s nuclear forces, and thus not easily exportable. As for the integration of the American B-61 on the Rafale, it appears as politically unrealistic and financially costly, say industrialists and experts.


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Some observers say the Belgian defense staff is using the nuclear argument to push its preferred fighter, the F-35, without appearing to meddle in the selection process.
Others say that the nuclear issue is a red herring, and that the decision rests on whether the Belgian government wants to align its air force with the Netherlands (F-35) or with France, in which case it would go with Rafale.
In both cases, aircraft performance and price are likely to have very little influence on the final decision.)

Not specifically with the Netherlands, but as well with the other European F35 users: Norway, Denmark, UK.
It seems not understood in Belgium this cooperation will problably be a much stronger cooperation then EPAF. Belgium would join this group.
Cooperation very closely (integration) only with the Dutch would not be easy. Integration is hardly impossible for two reasons: Belgium is not a levelpartner, as well the Dutch are a level 2 partner. A lot of Information could not be given to the BAF (forbidden). As well as results of the IOT&E phase. The BAF would also have no influence or voice in coming updates or whatever.

The nucleair argument? It was not a problem in the 70's. Belgium preferred the Mirage instead of the F16.
Secondly, the Germans will probably stop with a nuceair task when the Tornado will be phased out.
Third, it's not yet 100 percent sure the F35 will get a nucleair task.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 23 Sep 2015, 20:44
by oldiaf
http://brusselstimes.com/business/4102/ ... eed-martin
Belgium signs agreement with LM to replace its F-16

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 18 Nov 2015, 19:04
by tritonprime
spazsinbad posted the information from this article about Denmark in another topic, here is the information concerning Belgium...


"Milestones Close For Denmark And Belgium Fighter Contests"
Nov 18, 2015 Bill Sweetman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/milesto ... r-contests

...Belgium, meanwhile, is believed to be starting a process aimed at a decision before April-May 2018, within the lifespan of the current government. So far, five candidates—JSF, the Super Hornet, Saab Gripen, Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon—are participating. At this point, it appears that Belgium—whose F-16s are currently tasked with delivering U.S.-controlled B61 nuclear weapons stored in Belgium—will not include nuclear capability in the RFP, a condition that would likely eliminate both Rafale and Gripen. The nation will decide separately what to do about the weapons, which would have to be replaced in any event by the new, guided B61-12.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 12 Jan 2016, 04:13
by spazsinbad
Unfortunately this is the English translation from GOOGLE from: http://www.air-cosmos.com/la-belgique-f ... mbat-53395
Belgium sets the contours of his army by 2030, reduced to 34 combat aircraft
04 Jan 2016 Gérard Gaudin

"Thirty-four combat aircraft, six drones - the type of which remains to choose - two frigates, six minesweepers and vehicles for land units, all to gain by 2030 to $ 9.2 billion euros. This is the Christmas gift that the Belgian government coalition was in late December, after months of palaver, its armed forces.

The restricted ministerial committee, which brings together key ministers finally approved the "Strategic Plan" to fifteen years presented by the defense minister, the Flemish nationalist Steven Vandeput. But in one version planed from the initial project, since the percentage of military spending to GDP will be only about 1.3 at end of period. Against 1.6% in the most ambitious version of departure and while NATO insists on increasing the standard of 2% for its member states, to achieve in 2024.

The 9.2 billion euros of investment will be used to buy 34 fighter-bombers - to succeed the 56 aging F-16 currently in operation - two frigates (to replace the two buildings used to redeemed Netherlands in the early 2000s), six minesweepers - a similar number to the current fleet - and six drones, two in 2021 and four in 2030. No material choices have been made yet.

Source: https://translate.google.com.au/transla ... edit-text=

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 13 Jan 2016, 06:53
by Corsair1963
Just one more customer likely to purchase the F-35... :D

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 15 Feb 2016, 00:19
by spazsinbad
Belgian F-16 replacement process to start by mid-year
12 Feb 2016 Beth Stevenson

"A request for proposals (RFP) to launch off Belgium’s search to replace its 59-strong Lockheed Martin F-16A/B fleet is expected “this summer”, with the schedule to allow for a new fighter to be in service by 2025, a source close to the programme has revealed.

Two years ago, Brussels issued a study request to help shape what it would require from a fighter replacement, and defence minister Steven Vandeput announced in late December that through a strategic plan currently being approved, 34 new fighters would be acquired.

According to the programme source, the project will be valued at €3.6 billion ($4 billion) but it is not clear whether the amount includes maintenance and support costs.

An RFP will have to be released by mid-2016 for Belgium to meet its target dates. For deliveries to begin by 2023, a contract will have to be awarded by 2018 to allow for production and testing. A general election in 2019 in Belgium will add to the need to stick to deadlines and award the contract before a potential change of government...."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ea-421877/

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2016, 23:38
by spazsinbad
RNLAF commander pushes for F-35-based Joint air force with Belgium
30 May 2016 Nathan Gain

"The Dutch air force commander invited himself in the debate on the successor of Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fleet. General Alexander Schnitger suggested on Flemish - VRT that Belgium purchase the same type of aircraft selected by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) – the F-35 Lightning II – to create a joint Dutch-Belgian air force.

”I see significant benefits in building (military) cooperation between our two countries,” he said on the Flemish public channel, referring to the joint missions the two air forces would conduct. "Why not building a strong sole air force from two small ones,” added Schnitger. "From my perspective this would naturally help a lot if we finally choose the same type of fighter as this would facilitate integration,” he said....

...Belgium approved in last December the purchase of 34 new fighter aircraft to be acquired from Spring 2018 for an amount of 3,573 billion euros...."

Source: http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php ... lgium.html

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 01 Jun 2016, 05:04
by Corsair1963
spazsinbad wrote:
RNLAF commander pushes for F-35-based Joint air force with Belgium
30 May 2016 Nathan Gain

"The Dutch air force commander invited himself in the debate on the successor of Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fleet. General Alexander Schnitger suggested on Flemish - VRT that Belgium purchase the same type of aircraft selected by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) – the F-35 Lightning II – to create a joint Dutch-Belgian air force.

”I see significant benefits in building (military) cooperation between our two countries,” he said on the Flemish public channel, referring to the joint missions the two air forces would conduct. "Why not building a strong sole air force from two small ones,” added Schnitger. "From my perspective this would naturally help a lot if we finally choose the same type of fighter as this would facilitate integration,” he said....

...Belgium approved in last December the purchase of 34 new fighter aircraft to be acquired from Spring 2018 for an amount of 3,573 billion euros...."

Source: http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php ... lgium.html



He makes a good case......(IMHO) :wink:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 01 Jun 2016, 08:26
by krorvik
He does indeed. UK, Norway, Holland, Denmark, Italy - and hopefully Belgium and Finland.

Add in JSM and the Turkish alternative to this mix.

This makes for a hell of a cooperative environment in Europe. And a headache for anyone trying to do bad things(TM).

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 05 Jun 2016, 05:42
by m
spazsinbad wrote:
RNLAF commander pushes for F-35-based Joint air force with Belgium
30 May 2016 Nathan Gain

"The Dutch air force commander invited himself in the debate on the successor of Belgian Air Force’s F-16 fleet. General Alexander Schnitger suggested on Flemish - VRT that Belgium purchase the same type of aircraft selected by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) – the F-35 Lightning II – to create a joint Dutch-Belgian air force.

”I see significant benefits in building (military) cooperation between our two countries,” he said on the Flemish public channel, referring to the joint missions the two air forces would conduct. "Why not building a strong sole air force from two small ones,” added Schnitger. "From my perspective this would naturally help a lot if we finally choose the same type of fighter as this would facilitate integration,” he said....

...Belgium approved in last December the purchase of 34 new fighter aircraft to be acquired from Spring 2018 for an amount of 3,573 billion euros...."

Source: http://www.airrecognition.com/index.php ... lgium.html


27 mei 2016
http://www.nu.nl/algemeen/4268798/henni ... lbaar.html

Google Translate
May 27, 2016
Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert Friday after the cabinet meeting.She responded thus on the statements of the Dutch Air Force Commander Alexander Schnitger. He pleaded Friday at the Belgian radio to join the air force of the two countries. "Why not make two relatively small air forces one medium air force?"

According Hennis is conceivable that the Netherlands and Belgium continue to work together more closely. "But that will not happen tomorrow."

One of the hurdles that must be taken is that the Belgians will replace their F-16s by the Joint Strike Fighter. The Netherlands has opted for the F35 and the Belgians have yet to make a decision.
http://www.nu.nl/algemeen/4268798/henni ... lbaar.html


“Building (military) cooperation between our two countries” as the general proposes is a possibility, but one integrated Airforce will be hardly possible.
As well as both navies do have a strong cooperation, concerning the Netherlands it needs a or at least some possibility to operate on their own

May be not known. Since 2010 three Islands are a part of the Netherlands
(Free choice of these Islands to become a part of Dutch territory)
The Netherlands since then it’s known as: Continental Netherlands and Caribean Netherlands.
Together with the other three independent states (Islands) they form the Kingdom of the Netherlands

It’s not possible for Belgium military personnel, technical personnel or pilots, to operate in case of tensions, on the Antilles.
When tensions would become severe (in 2015 an American civil aircraft was shot down by Venezuela) airspace needs to be controlled by at least some Dutch aircraft.

From a political view it’s not possible for Belgium sending military personnel.
QRA could not be done by Belgium pilots, technical personnel included.
Belgium in that case would be a part of the conflict.

Although in case of war it’s not possible to defend territory of (Caribean) Netherlands or the other three states (islands).
The only ally to be trusted on by the Netherlands to defend their territory are the United States. NATO is forbidden to operate in this region.
Case studies are clear about help from other European countries. In case of real problems the Dutch are on their own, like the British and the Falklands (Monroe doctrine)

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2016, 02:31
by talkitron
Any kind of joint program between Belgium and the Netherlands would probably end up being used by politicians to reduce the total fighter buy below the sum of the amounts that would be ordered if purchased separately. Politicians are always trying to get the budget to work out, as is their job. Voters like having a military but do not have much sense of the unit count of particular weapon systems.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2016, 17:56
by m
talkitron wrote:Any kind of joint program between Belgium and the Netherlands would probably end up being used by politicians to reduce the total fighter buy below the sum of the amounts that would be ordered if purchased separately. Politicians are always trying to get the budget to work out, as is their job. Voters like having a military but do not have much sense of the unit count of particular weapon systems.

A joint program is not possible, Belgium is not a levelpartner. Although mentioned in the Belgium press, ordering the F35 together, the minister of the Dutch Defence at that time explained this was a main reason

Either joining a possible block buy could be a possibility for the BAF.
This could result in ordering a less expensive F35 for Belgium

Still when both countries both will fly the F35 a lot will be possible, probably much more then the F16 EPAF cooperation ever was. Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, UK, Italy. Plus probably Belgium and Finland

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2017, 23:38
by steve2267
Is Belgium still on track to choose an F-16 replacement / place an order in 2018? From the news, I see they have either approved or have a requirement for thirty-four (34) aircraft to replace their F-16s.

Is the F-35 still considered the front runner for a replacement? By the time 2018 rolls around, I honestly don't see how you will be able to purchase any tactical western fighter aircraft for less than the F-35A. Maybe Gripen, but I doubt it, the way Saab and the Swedes are going. (And to make it "worthwhile," a new Gripen would have to cost less than 1/2 of an F-35 -- from a capability standpoint -- and that is not going to happen.)

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2017, 02:14
by jakobs
steve2267 wrote:Is the F-35 still considered the front runner for a replacement?


Belgium store B61's, so anything else would be retarded IMO.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 23 Feb 2017, 18:25
by talkitron
No news on Belgium but I like this overview of European fighter procurement.

http://aviationweek.com/farnborough-air ... -countries

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2017, 18:04
by pron
A small surprise today when Belgium sends a request for new fighters to Sweden.

Here the news translated with Google:

Sweden, through FMV received a quotation from Belgium concerning the procurement of fighter aircraft.
- Belgium, Sweden would fit well in terms of defense benefits in the form of cost sharing in the development and operation of Gripen E says Joakim Wallin, head of exports at FMV. Belgium wants a close and extensive cooperation with the country from which they buy fighter aircraft and it is through these partnerships, we can find solutions that deliver cost for both countries.

- We are now in collaboration with Saab AB, analyze and evaluate the incoming request to see how we can best respond to it.

Link to original in swedish - http://fmv.se/sv/Nyheter-och-press/Nyhe ... -Gripen-E/

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2017, 19:15
by botsing
pron wrote:A small surprise today when Belgium sends a request for new fighters to Sweden.

Not really a surprise.

Last Friday Dutch news reported that Belgium will start the replacement process of its F-16 and will choose from these five planes: Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, F-18 E/F and F-35.

So naturally, like the other candidates, they (Saab through FMV) received a request for information.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2017, 21:02
by hythelday
botsing wrote:
pron wrote:A small surprise today when Belgium sends a request for new fighters to Sweden.

Not really a surprise.

Last Friday Dutch news reported that Belgium will start the replacement process of its F-16 and will choose from these five planes: Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, F-18 E/F and F-35.

So naturally, like the other candidates, they (Saab through FMV) received a request for information.


SAAB withdraws because "Americans have everyone bought off", not because they know they'll lose.
Dassault will offer something, but not try real hard because they are happy with current orders.
Eurofighter puts a little more effort, especially utilizing ze Germans.
Boeing sues Belgians even before official decision is made in order to have a head start in upcoming legal battle.
LM wins.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2017, 21:21
by Tiger05
hythelday wrote:Boeing sues Belgians even before official decision is made in order to have a head start in upcoming legal battle.


LOL :lmao:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2017, 11:32
by barrelnut
Belgian Defence,
Air Combat Capability Program,
Request for Government Proposal:

http://www.vandeput.fgov.be/sites/defau ... osal_0.pdf

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2017, 15:04
by botsing
barrelnut wrote:Belgian Defence,
Air Combat Capability Program,
Request for Government Proposal:

http://www.vandeput.fgov.be/sites/defau ... osal_0.pdf

Thank you for your post!

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 16:53
by Dragon029
Looking at the terminology they're using, the relative weightings and the scenarios, it seems like the F-35 has this one in the bag; there seems to be a big emphasis on information gathering / ISR, the ability to fuse data, search and destroy, work in a joint environment, have good survivability, etc.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2017, 21:36
by ricnunes
Not to mention that one of the threats that the new/future Belgium fighter is "expected to face" is the S-400 (NATO Name: SA-21 Growler) - See page 229.
There isn't any available fighter aircraft in the market (which will be proposed to Belgium) today or in the near future capable of facing the S-400 outside the F-35 (at least without suffering some "prohibitive loses"). :wink:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 28 Mar 2017, 15:33
by XanderCrews
Dragon029 wrote:Looking at the terminology they're using, the relative weightings and the scenarios, it seems like the F-35 has this one in the bag; there seems to be a big emphasis on information gathering / ISR, the ability to fuse data, search and destroy, work in a joint environment, have good survivability, etc.


Yep. Was only a few pages in and saw the emphasis on ISR and jointNess. Pretty obvious I would think

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 05:41
by neptune
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... on-436354/

Boeing will not compete its SBug to replace Belgium’s fleet of F-16s

Boeing will not compete its F/A-18 Super Hornet to replace Belgium’s fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16s, the company informed the nation's government this week. In a statement, the airframer says it will not participate in a 19 April bidders' conference, nor respond to Brussels' request for proposals for the new fighter. “We regret that after reviewing the request we do not see an opportunity to compete on a truly level playing field with the...F/A-18 Super Hornet,” Boeing says. “This decision allows Boeing to concentrate its efforts and resources on supporting our global customers, securing new orders and investing in technology and systems required to meet the threats of today and tomorrow. Where there is a full and open competition we look forward to bringing the full depth and breadth of Boeing to our offer.”

Belgium’s recapitalization effort is expected to replace its 59 F-16A/Bs with 34 new fighters, with a budget of up to €3.6 billion ($4 billion), FlightGlobal has previously reported. Boeing’s American rival, Lockheed Martin, remains in the competition with its F-35. Other candidates include the Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and Saab Gripen E. Over the past year, Boeing has chalked up a number of coups for its tactical fighter business, from a Canadian Super Hornet purchase to a renewed interest in the aircraft from US President Donald Trump, as well as orders from Kuwait and Qatar. However, interest from Europe appears to be waning. After losing Denmark’s fighter competition in 2016 to the F-35A, Boeing issued a legal challenge against the Danish defense ministry arguing that the government executed a “flawed” evaluation process. On 15 September 2016, Boeing submitted a request for insight seeking documents and information on the fighter decision. "Since then, the ministry has shared only a small fraction of the documents that Boeing is entitled to review, and has not provided a complete list of all its documents and information as required by law," Boeing says. Boeing filed a legal challenge on 2 March, fighting the failure to release the documents; that court hearing is still pending. Meanwhile, Boeing sees other opportunities from fighter contests being held by Finland and Switzerland.
:P

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 10:48
by hornetfinn
Where there is a full and open competition we look forward to bringing the full depth and breadth of Boeing to our offer.


Just like in Canada... :roll:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 15:35
by mixelflick
This business of suing countries after losing, not making the cut etc seems to me to be short sighted. If you're a country evaluating strike fighters, why would you entertain Boeing's bid (be that the F-18 SH or F-15), only to open yourself up to litigation?

Hey Boeing: How about you develop a superior product?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 17:26
by botsing
mixelflick wrote:This business of suing countries after losing, not making the cut etc seems to me to be short sighted.

As a country I would put a big legal team at work to add a section to the Request for Proposal where it clearly states that the country cannot be sued in anyway by the contenders or their partners over it (with all the legal mumble jumble).

Prevention is better than cure.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2017, 00:13
by popcorn
Take a cue from F1. You can protest the outcome of a race but if you lose you pay a hefty fine. :devil:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 17:34
by durahawk
Sad day for the SAAB fanboys... Looks like the Gripen is out of the race.

LONDON—Belgium’s short list for its future fighter has shrunk to three after the Swedish government withdrew Saab’s new-generation Gripen from the tender.

Swedish defense materiel organization FMV, which would facilitate any Gripen sale, said in a July 10 statement that while the aircraft meets all the operational requirements in Belgium’s request for proposals, Sweden itself could not meet Brussel’s need for “extensive operational support.”

“This would require a Swedish foreign policy and political mandate that does not exist today,” the FMV said.
http://aviationweek.com/defense/gripen- ... er-contest

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 16:01
by bojack_horseman
Looks like the French are surrendering as well....

https://www.airrecognition.com/index.ph ... ogram.html

n some ways, Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault, prime contractor for the Rafale program, already sowed doubt a few days before Paris Air Show 2017 opening. "Generally speaking, I feel there is a desire to buy american," he said to the Belgian economic newspaper L’Écho. "It's surely linked to the relationship with NATO. But it is not incompatible to be in NATO and to use non-American aircraft, as the Rafale shows," Trappier added.

Moreover, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, the General André Lanata, on July 19 expressed concern about the success and performance of the F-35, which, "will become a benchmark in the global air force, not just in the US, but also in our major partners."

In any case, if Dassault withdraws, BAE Systems will have to put forth strong arguments against the Belgian Air Force's favorite, the F-35.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 16:07
by neptune
bojack_horseman wrote:Looks like the French are surrendering as well.....Moreover, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, the General André Lanata, on July 19 expressed concern about the success and performance of the F-35, which, "will become a benchmark in the global air force, not just in the US, but also in our major partners."..


C'est la vie
:)

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 17:38
by Tiger05
bojack_horseman wrote:Looks like the French are surrendering as well....

https://www.airrecognition.com/index.ph ... ogram.html

n some ways, Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault, prime contractor for the Rafale program, already sowed doubt a few days before Paris Air Show 2017 opening. "Generally speaking, I feel there is a desire to buy american," he said to the Belgian economic newspaper L’Écho. "It's surely linked to the relationship with NATO. But it is not incompatible to be in NATO and to use non-American aircraft, as the Rafale shows," Trappier added.

Moreover, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force, the General André Lanata, on July 19 expressed concern about the success and performance of the F-35, which, "will become a benchmark in the global air force, not just in the US, but also in our major partners."

In any case, if Dassault withdraws, BAE Systems will have to put forth strong arguments against the Belgian Air Force's favorite, the F-35.


Dassault isnt completely out of the race. They opted out of the RfP but will instead offer a government-to-government deal to Belgium like they did with India.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 19:40
by bojack_horseman
Tiger05 wrote:Dassault isnt completely out of the race. They opted out of the RfP but will instead offer a government-to-government deal to Belgium like they did with India.


So at a forthcoming EU summit a French minister will put their arm around their Belgian counterpart and give it the old
"We think you'll love the Rafale. By the way, how are the wife & kids, I hear they like new cars and a trip to San Tropez?"

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 20:09
by hythelday
bojack_horseman wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:Dassault isnt completely out of the race. They opted out of the RfP but will instead offer a government-to-government deal to Belgium like they did with India.


So at a forthcoming EU summit a French minister will put their arm around their Belgian counterpart and give it the old
"We think you'll love the Rafale. By the way, how are the wife & kids, I hear they like new cars and a trip to San Tropez?"


Too bad he's flemish :D

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2017, 20:24
by ricnunes
bojack_horseman wrote:
Tiger05 wrote:Dassault isnt completely out of the race. They opted out of the RfP but will instead offer a government-to-government deal to Belgium like they did with India.


So at a forthcoming EU summit a French minister will put their arm around their Belgian counterpart and give it the old
"We think you'll love the Rafale. By the way, how are the wife & kids, I hear they like new cars and a trip to San Tropez?"


And to think that there are lots among the Anti-F-35 and Pro-Rafale/etc... that claim that LM corrupts governments, makes (fake) propaganda, doesn't deliver what's promised, etc... :roll:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 12:19
by bojack_horseman
Fairly interesting article.

The French government still haven't given up and are kicking the lobbying efforts into another gear.

https://www.tijd.be/politiek-economie/b ... 1509358945

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 13:07
by hythelday
bojack_horseman wrote:Fairly interesting article.

The French government still haven't given up and are kicking the lobbying efforts into another gear.

https://www.tijd.be/politiek-economie/b ... 1509358945


Soft paywall? Could you please quote more interesting parts if you have access?

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 13:34
by optimist
I could tell you how to get around soft paywalls, but I'd have to kill you. :mrgreen:

‘Het is duidelijk dat premier Michel invloed probeert uit te oefenen om het Franse Rafale-gevechtsvliegtuig mee in de running te krijgen voor de opvolging van de F-16’s’, luidt het in regeringskringen.

Het is niemand in de regering ontgaan dat premier Charles Michel (MR) zich mengt in het aankoopdossier voor 34 nieuwe gevechtsvliegtuigen voor 3,5 miljard euro.
‘Dat de geschiedenis zich herhaalt, verwondert me niet. Ik had alleen gedacht dat de Mouvement Réformateur (MR), nu ze de eerste minister levert, behoedzamer zou zijn in haar Fransdolle aspiraties. A new Agusta is born’, zo wordt in regeringskringen een allusie gemaakt op de corruptie-affaire rond de aankoop van Agusta-helicopters voor het leger.
'Ik had gedacht dat de MR nu ze de eerste minister levert, behoedzamer zou zijn in haar Fransdolle aspiraties. A new Agusta is born.'
REGERINGSBRON
En die manoeuvres gebeuren niet eens zo verdoken. Toen minister van Defensie Steven Vandeput (N-VA) in het parlement liet weten dat de deur voor de Fransen dicht was, reageerde vicepremier Didier Reynders (MR) de dag erop voor de televisiecamera’s dat de Fransen nog niet afgeschreven waren.
Op verzoek van Michel zijn inmiddels nieuwe juridische adviezen gevraagd om de Rafale van Dassault alsnog mee in de wedstrijd te brengen voor de opvolging van de F-16’s.
Offerte te laat

Vandeput kreeg nochtans het juridische advies dat de Fransen niet conform de regels hebben gehandeld. Terwijl de Amerikanen met de F-35 van Lockheed Martin en de Britten met de Eurofighter een offerte indienden conform de ‘Request for Government Proposal’ (RFGP), kwam Parijs op 7 september, luttele uren voor de deadline, met een brief waarin de Franse minister van Defensie Florence Parly een verregaand partnerschap aanbiedt.
‘Blijven onderhandelen met Frankrijk zou de Belgische staat blootstellen aan kritiek en rechtsvervolging.’
STEVEN VANDEPUT
MINISTER VAN DEFENSIE
Er wordt ook expliciet verwezen naar Sabca, het Belgische bedrijf waarin het Franse Dassault een meerderheidsbelang heeft. Maar Parijs geeft geen enkel antwoord op de 164 vragen uit de RFGP, noch wordt de prijs van de toestellen verduidelijkt. ‘Blijven onderhandelen met Frankrijk zou de Belgische staat blootstellen aan kritiek en rechtsvervolging’, besloot Vandeput.
Dat Vandeput de deur had dichtgedaan voor Parijs stond nog maar net online, of er liepen al telefoontjes binnen op het kabinet-Vandeput, van de Fransen, maar ook van de Britten - die met de Eurofighter mee in de running zijn - om tekst en uitleg te vragen.
De Belgische F-16's zijn tegen 2023 aan vervanging toe. © BELGA
De Belgische F-16's zijn tegen 2023 aan vervanging toe. © BELGA
Er wordt druk gelobbyd, maar Vandeput houdt zich daar zo ver mogelijk van. Hij weet hoe delicaat alles ligt. Toen Boeing zich met zijn F-18 uit de race terugtrok, omdat de Belgische aanbesteding op maat van de F-35 van Lockheed Martin zou zijn geschreven, liet een ongeruste Michel dat onderzoeken. Er werd niets gevonden.
Bij de N-VA luidt het dat er geen voorkeur is voor gelijk wie, en dat men al evenmin iets tegen de Fransen heeft.
In het kernkabinet bekijkt vicepremier Jan Jambon (N-VA) ‘welwillend’ alle voorstellen van Michel om alsnog business te kunnen doen met de Fransen. Daarom ging hij ook akkoord om nieuwe juridische adviezen te vragen. Maar die welwillendheid gaat maar tot het punt waarop Vandeput in verlegenheid wordt gebracht. ‘We gaan niet moeilijk doen, tenzij we zelf in moeilijkheden komen. Dan houdt het op’, luidt het.
Ongemakkelijk schuifelen

Voor de premier is het ongemakkelijk schuifelen op zijn stoel. ‘Kan u het zich voorstellen, Charles Michel die aan de tafel van de Europese Raad zit, zijn grote vriend Emmanuel Macron in de ogen kijkt en zegt: ‘Nee, bedankt voor uw voorstel voor een pro-Europees partnerschap, maar ik verkies het puur commerciële voorstel van de Amerikanen.’
KORT

De Fransen lobbyen hevig om hun Rafale-gevechtsvliegtuig toch nog in de running te krijgen voor de vervanging van de F-16’s.
Vooral de MR van premier Charles Michel is gevoelig voor de Franse argumenten.
Elders in de regering wordt opgemerkt dat ons land grote juridische risico’s loopt als het Franse bod toch nog wordt opgevist, terwijl het niet aan de voorwaarden voldoet.
De kans bestaat dat de beslissing over de aankoop van nieuwe legervliegtuigen wordt doorgeschoven naar de volgende regering.
‘Ik begrijp de malaise in de regering’, merkte gewezen minister van Defensie André Flahaut (PS) al op.
De entourage van Michel ontkent dat er al contacten zijn geweest met de Franse president, maar het is duidelijk dat de premier verveeld zit met heel de zaak.
En de Franse lobbymachine draait op volle toeren. De Franse ambassadeur loopt eens langs, Sabca komt toelichting geven en zelfs de christelijke vakbond ACV liet recentelijk in een brief aan de regering weten dat Frankrijk een investering van 20 miljard euro en 1.500 Belgische banen belooft, als ons land kiest voor de Rafale van Dassault.
De klok tikt

Een optie is dat de Fransen alsnog de Rafale zouden voorstellen, als op 14 februari het ‘best and final offer’ moet worden ingediend. Dat mag juridisch nog mogelijk zijn, feitelijk is het een onhaalbare kaart, wordt in militaire kringen gezegd. Met de Britten en de Amerikanen lopen gesprekken om de voorstellen voor de Eurofighter en de F-35 correct te kunnen evalueren.
Minister van Defensie Steven Vandeput (N-VA) kijkt er al lang niet meer van op dat premier Charles Michel via zijn militair adviseur mee aan de knoppen draait. © BELGA
Minister van Defensie Steven Vandeput (N-VA) kijkt er al lang niet meer van op dat premier Charles Michel via zijn militair adviseur mee aan de knoppen draait. © BELGA
Maar na het indienen van het ‘best and final offer’ mag niet meer met elkaar worden gesproken. Het wordt dan ook zo goed als onmogelijk om een Franse offerte nog te beoordelen, luidt het.
Een andere piste is dat de Fransen gepaaid worden met een ander legercontract. ‘Voor de landmacht is voorzien in een capacité motorisée. Het gaat om een contract van 1,1 miljard euro, dat voor de Fransen is’, wordt opgemerkt in regeringskringen. Het Strategisch Legerplan van Vandeput mikt op een verregaande samenwerking tussen de Belgische en de Franse landcomponenten. Maar of dat contract, dat ze eigenlijk al op zak hebben, Parijs zal kunnen paaien, is nog maar de vraag. ‘Mijn grootmoeder zei altijd: de Duvelszak is nooit gevuld’, klinkt het in regeringskringen.
Omdat er geen voor de hand liggende uitweg is, bestaat de kans dat de aankoop van de nieuwe gevechtsvliegtuigen naar de Griekse kalenden wordt verwezen. De beslissing om gevechtsvliegtuigen aan te kopen was al niet evident.
Open VLD-voorzitster Gwendolyn Rutten lag lang dwars, omdat ze het politiek niet dacht te kunnen verkopen dat meer dan 9 miljard euro wordt gespendeerd aan gevechtsvliegtuigen en ander legermateriaal, terwijl Maggie De Block (Open VLD) moest besparen op de langdurige zieken, wier aantal een hoge vlucht neemt.
Zonder rugdekking

De premier nam het toen ook over van Vandeput en kocht tijd voor diens omstreden Strategisch Legerplan. Uiteindelijk werd er enkel ‘akte van genomen’, waardoor Vandeput zonder politieke rugdekking bezig is aan de uitvoering van zijn Strategisch Plan.
3,5 miljard
De opvolger van de F-16 mag 3,5 miljard euro kosten.
De premier slaagde er wel in om het fiat te krijgen voor legerinvesteringen voor meer dan 9 miljard euro, waaronder de aankoop van 34 nieuwe gevechtsvliegtuigen voor 3,5 miljard euro.
Vandeput kijkt er al lang niet meer van op dat Michel, via zijn militair adviseur, reservemajoor Michel Peeters, mee over de schouder kijkt en mee aan de knoppen draait. Maar de aankoop van gevechtsvliegtuigen uitstellen tot na de parlementsverkiezingen van 2019 is een risico.
Metaalmoe

Vanaf 2023 moeten de F-16’s worden vervangen, want na 40 jaar dienst kunnen de ‘metaalmoeë’ toestellen niet meer worden geüpdatet. Vandaar dat de planning stelt dat het contract in 2018 moet worden gegund, zodat de eerste toestellen in 2023 kunnen worden geleverd.
Maar wie zal er moeilijk over doen als geen akkoord kan worden bereikt en de beslissing wordt uitgesteld? Als het over legeraankopen gaat, hebben de socialisten vanuit de oppositie weinig recht van spreken, merkt een regeringsbron op. ‘Ze hebben het geld geïncasseerd voor de partij en hebben het vervolgens verbrand in hun tuin’, wordt cynisch verwezen naar de Agusta-affaire van begin jaren 90.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 16:53
by hythelday
optimist wrote:I could tell you how to get around soft paywalls, but I'd have to kill you. :mrgreen:


Not if I shoot you first for showing how to run a text through google translate! :twisted:

Anyway, article sounds like defence minister Vandeput does not want to allow Dassault participation on a basis of them being late with proposal, and also proposal itself being "shady", arguing bending the rules for the French might cause a legal stir-up; Meanwhile, PM Michel, who I gather is a Walloon and a "great friend [of] Emmanuel Macron" pushes for French participation.

Also, @optimist, how well was this excerpt translated?

The French ambassador goes further along, Sabca comes explanatory notes and even the Christian union ACV was recently in a letter to the Government that France promises an investment of 20 billion euros and 1,500 Belgian jobs, when our country chooses the Rafale from Dassault.


Is Dassault seriously promising 20 billion in offset Rafale deals, or is it some general "we'll invest 20 bn into Belgian industry at some point"? LM surely can't beat that, however they can show real deal contracts for global F-35 supply chain. A bird in hand is better than two in bush 8)

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 21:16
by optimist
don't tell anyone, but you put the heading and some words of the article into google and when it finds the article you are looking for, you open it..Try it now, this circumvents a lot of paywalls..but they are catching on and starting to close that door.

I tried to google trans, but the door I went through wouldn't let it do so. so I just copied and posted original text. I had no idea what it said and translated it here.

also all the other french promises of offset, tech transfer and such have always come out well :mrgreen:

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 21:48
by bojack_horseman
hythelday wrote:Soft paywall? Could you please quote more interesting parts if you have access?


Apologies, I'm not seeing any paywall myself. (via google on a PC)

The fellow "Michel" is the Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel....

Belgian maneuvers in the dark with fighter planes

"It is clear that Prime Minister Michel is trying to exert influence to get the French Rafale fighter plane in the run for the F-16's succession," it says in government circles.

Nobody in the government escaped that Prime Minister Charles Michel merged into the purchase file for 34 new fighter aircraft for 3.5 billion euros.
"That history repeats me does not surprise me. I had only thought that the Mouvement Reformator Party (MR), now that she will deliver the prime minister, would be more cautious in her French-language aspirations. A new Agusta is born ', so in government circles, an allusion is made to the corruption affair surrounding the purchase of Agusta helicopters for the army.

And those maneuvers do not even happen so much. When Defense Minister Steven Vandeput (N-VA) in parliament said that the door was closed for the French , responded Deputy Prime Minister Didier Reynders (MR) the day after the television cameras that the French were not depreciated.
At the request of Michel are now new legal opinions requested the Rafale from Dassault bring still in the competition for the successor to the F-16s.

Vandeput, however, obtained the legal advice that the French did not act in accordance with the rules. While the Americans with the F-35 from Lockheed Martin and the British with the Eurofighter an offer submitted in accordance with the 'Request for Government Proposal (RFGP), Paris came on September 7, just hours before the deadline, with a letter in which the French Minister of Defense Florence Parly offers a far-reaching partnership.

It is also explicitly referred to Sabca , the Belgian company in which the French Dassault has a majority interest. But Paris does not answer the 164 questions from the RFGP, nor will the price of the devices be clarified. 'Continue negotiating with France would expose the Belgian state to criticism and prosecution', Vandeput decided.
The fact that Vandeput closed the door for Paris was just online, or there were already calls on the Vandeput, the French, but also the British - who are in the running with Eurofighter - for text and explanation to ask.

It is busy lobbying , but Vandeput adheres as far as possible. He knows how delicious everything is. When Boeing abandoned from this race with the F-18, because the Belgian tendering was tailored to Lockheed Martin's F-35, an inexperienced Michel was investigating that. Nothing found.

At the N-VA it is said that there is no preference for equal who, and that they do not have anything against the French.
The inner cabinet looks Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) 'benevolent' all proposals Michel to do so business with the French. Therefore he agreed to ask for new legal advice. But that benevolence goes to the point where Vandeput is embarrased . "We will not do it hard unless we get into trouble ourselves. Then it will hold on, "it says.

For the Prime Minister is uncomfortable shuffling in his seat. "Can you imagine Charles Michel, who is at the European Council, looks at his great friend Emmanuel Macron, saying," No, thanks for your proposal for a pro-European partnership, but I prefer it commercial proposal from the Americans. "

"I understand the malaise in government," said former minister of defense, André Flahaut (PS).
The entourage of Michel denies that there were contacts with the French president, but it is clear that the Prime Minister is bored with the whole thing.
And the French lobby machine running at full speed. The French ambassador walks along, Sabca explains, and even the Christian trade union ACV recently announced in a letter to the government that France promises an investment of 20 billion euros and 1,500 Belgian jobs, if our country chooses for the Rafale of Dassault.
The clock is ticking
One option is that the French would still introduce the Rafale , if on February 14 the "best and final offer" should be submitted. That may be legally possible, in fact, it's an unreadable card, it is said in military circles. With the British and Americans, discussions are taking place to properly evaluate the proposals for the Eurofighter and the F-35.


However, after submitting the best and final offer no longer can be spoken. It is therefore almost impossible to review a French offer, it says.
Another run is that the French rocked with another army contract . 'For the country's power a capacité motorisée is provided. It is a contract of EUR 1.1 billion , which is for the French, "is noted in government circles. Vandeput's Strategic Army Plan aims at far-reaching cooperation between Belgian and French land components. But whether that contract, which they are actually already on the verge of sprouting Paris, is still the question. "My grandmother always said: The Duvelszak is never filled," it sounds like in government circles.

The prime minister succeeded in getting rid of military investments for more than 9 billion euros , including the purchase of 34 new fighter aircraft for 3.5 billion euros.
Vandeput has long been aware that Michel, through his military adviser, reservoir leader Michel Peeters, looks over his shoulder and walks on the knobs. But postponing the purchase of fighter aircraft until after the parliamentary elections of 2019 is a risk.

As of 2023, the F-16's have to be replaced, because after 40 years of service , the 'metal power' devices can no longer be updated. Hence the plan states that the contract should be awarded in 2018 so that the first devices can be delivered in 2023.
But who will make it difficult if no agreement can be reached and the decision is postponed? When it comes to army purchases, the Socialists have little right to speak from the opposition, notes a government source. "They have collected the money for the party and then burned in their garden," cynically referred to the Agusta affair of the early 90's.

Re: Belgium considers Lockheed F-35 to replace F-16s

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2017, 21:51
by bojack_horseman
hythelday wrote:Is Dassault seriously promising 20 billion in offset Rafale deals, or is it some general "we'll invest 20 bn into Belgian industry at some point"? LM surely can't beat that, however they can show real deal contracts for global F-35 supply chain. A bird in hand is better than two in bush 8)


That's what stuck out for me.

The purchasing budget is €3.5bn
The French have some 'cojones' if they offer 600% offsets.... and the Belgians would be insane to believe them!