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Construction begins for the first Belgian F-35 fighters.

| 2022

The construction of the first two F-35A fighter jets for the Belgian Air Force has begun in Italy.

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Construction begins for the first Belgian F 35 fighters 01

F-35 fighter aircraft in flight demonstration during Belgian Air Force Days 2018 (Picture source: Air Recognition)

The first two Belgian F-35s started in the Cameri factory of the Italian company Leonardo. The main components of the aircraft – the central wing and the external wing boxes – are being assembled at the Cameri plant of Italian company Leonardo before being transported to Fort Worth in the United States where the future fighter aircraft of the Air Component will be built.

These first Belgian F-35s will be delivered in 2023 to the United States at the American base in Luke near Phoenix, Arizona, for the initial training of Belgian pilots and mechanics. This will also be the case for the next four aircraft in 2024. The first four aircraft are not expected to arrive in Belgiaum at Florennes Air Force Base until April 2025. Deliveries of fighter jets will run from 2023 to 2030 at a rate of four or five planes per year.

On October 2018, it was officially announced that Belgium has selected the F-35 as its next-generation fighter to replace its fleet of F-16. With the Belgian government’s selection of the F-35A, Belgium became the 13th nation to join the F-35 program of record.

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