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Lockheed Unveils First Belgian Air Drive F-35A Fighter Jet

Lockheed Martin has launched the primary F-35A Lightning II stealth multirole plane for Belgium on the firm’s manufacturing facility in Fort Value, Texas.

The fighter jet is a part of a $6.53-billion international navy sale signed in 2018 to exchange the Belgian Air Drive’s F-16 Preventing Falcons.

The contract ordered 34 standard takeoff and touchdown F-35As, engines, and an airborne mission simulator platform.

The Belgian Air Drive will obtain the primary plane in 2024. It is going to be initially stationed at Luke Air Drive Base in Arizona, the place the US Division of Protection’s international navy aircrew coaching is positioned.

Belgian Armed Forces Chief of Protection Admr. Michel Hofman mentioned the longer term F-35 fleet will additional improve Brussels’ nationwide safety and interoperability with companion forces.

“The introduction of the F-35 inside the Belgian Air Drive will allow us to proceed to meet all our missions within the coming a long time, in cooperation with our allies and companions in NATO, the EU and past,” Hofman said.

‘Increasing Belgian Trade’

Lockheed famous that the Belgian F-35 procurement helps “high-quality, long-term employment alternatives” in Brussels via the Important Safety Curiosity program.

This system boosts cooperation between the US and Belgian protection trade to advance the event of composite components and different tools associated to the European nation’s upcoming F-35 fleet.

Capt. Brent Golden taxies an F-35A Lightning II at Nellis Air Drive Base, Nevada, 2015. Photograph: Employees Sgt. Siuta B. Ika/US Air Fore

“At the moment’s milestone wouldn’t have been potential with out the robust partnership and key contributions from our shut companions within the Belgian authorities and trade,”  an announcement from Lockheed mentioned.

“By the Important Safety Curiosity program, Lockheed Martin will carry cutting-edge manufacturing strategies and advantages, increasing Belgian trade’s abilities and information and offering high-tech jobs for Belgians for many years to come back.”

Lockheed has delivered over 980 F-35s to 31 worldwide bases, main preparation programs for about 2,250 pilots and 15,125 maintainers.

The worldwide F-35 fleet has achieved greater than 768,000 flight hours.