The Belgian Government decided in October 2018 to replace the F-16 Viper with a 

5th generation fighter / stealth fighter.


The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engined, all-weather stealth multirole fighter.

3 different models are available : 

* F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant.

* F-35B short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant.

* F-35C especially developed for carrierscatapult-assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) variant.

Belgium placed an order for approximately 3.8 billion euro including 34 aircraft. (F-35A)

The total operational cost could even increase towards 15 billion euro.

With the Belgium governments selection, Belgium became the 13th nation to join the F-35 program. 

Other F-35 participants/customers (source : Lockheed Martin January 2019) : 

- United States (F-35A x 1.763 & F-35B/C x 693)

- UK (F-35 x 138 including F-35B)

- Italy (F-35A x 60 & F-35B x 30) & the Netherlands (F-35A x 37)

- Turkey (F-35A x 100), Canada (F-35A x 88), Australia (F-35A x 100), Denmark (F-35A x 27) and Norway (F-35A x 52)

- Israel (F-35A x 50), Japan (F-35A x 42), Republic of Korea (F-35A x 40)

Below pictures shows an Italian F-35A (MM7359/32-09 of 32° Stormo, 13° Gruppo) from air base Amendola, Luigi Rovelli send by The Aeronautica Militare (AMI, Italian Air Force) to the Belgian Air Force Days 2018 at Kleine Brogel air base (Belgium).

It was the first time that an F-35A landed on Belgian soil. At that time there was still no official decision taken by the Belgian Government. Later that year final decision was taken.

An F-35 contains more than 300,000 parts.

The F-35 program has 1,600 global suppliers.

Specifications F-35 : first flight F-35 on 15th of December 2006. The F-35 first crashed on 28th of September near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. It was a USMC F-35B.

Length : 15.67 m 

Wingspan : 10.7 m

Height : 4.33 m

Empty weight : 13,154 kg

Maximum speed : MACH 1.6+ 

Range with internal fuel : 2,220 km

Service ceiling : 15,240 m+

cost per aircraft : cost in 2020 to be US$ 80M (F-35A) / F-35B : US$ 115.5M & F-35C : US$ 107.7M