Lockheed Martin presented Belgium's inaugural F-35A Lightning II to the government at a ceremony held in its F-35 production facility.
This delivery reinforces the strategic partnership between the United States and Belgium, a crucial NATO ally. The ceremony, attended by senior government and military officials from both Belgium and the United States, showcased the collaborative efforts between the two nations.
Belgium joined the F-35 program in October 2018, becoming the 13th nation globally to do so. The U.S. State Department approved a $6.5 billion deal earlier that year for the sale of 34 F-35 fighters to Brussels, facilitating the modernization of Belgium's aging F-16 fleet. The country's plan involves acquiring a total of 34 F-35As, with the initial deployment scheduled for next year at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, a hub for international F-35 pilot and maintainer training.