23 March 2018


Belgium is planning to acquire a replacement for its F-16 fleet, and the leader in this contest is the F-35 mistake jet.

It now turns out that the government concealed options from the lawmakers to get the procurement approved:
Belgium’s future fighter program has been thrown into turmoil after it emerged that cheaper options to extend the life of the country’s F-16 Fighting Falcons had been deliberately hidden from ministers.

The scandal, which has already resulted in the suspension of several military officers and civil servants, came to light after the leaking of a Lockheed Martin assessment dated April 2016 to several Belgian news outlets on March 20. The documents suggested the country’s F-16s could be upgraded and given another six years of operational life, making a new fighter purchase less urgent than government officials had previously contended.

Defense Minister Steven Vandeput told the country’s Parliament that he had not been made aware of the report about the potential life extension option.

“If this report actually exists, if its content is accurate, and if the defense [ministry] has decided not to share it, there is a problem,” Vandeput told a Belgian radio station.
Yes, it is a problem.

Welcome to the military-industrial complex, Belgium.


Anonymous said...

To update the F-16's and let them 6y longer in operational service will take millions..other countries like Netherland, Norway and Denmark have already choosen..if more countries replace their F-16's this will increase costs for Belgium. And after 6y we do need replace our fighters .. so extending operational life = more costs

Matthew Saroff said...

The operational costs of the F-16 are far less than that of the F-35, and you are ignoring opportunity costs (future dollars are worth less than current dollars).

Post a Comment