Belgium's Leading Aeronautical Group Signs Agreement to Support Eurofighter Proposal

Belgian Aeronautical Group (BELAG) has today signed an agreement for future collaboration with the Eurofighter Typhoon partner companies on the comprehensive European proposal to Belgium.

The agreement is an understanding that the parties will work together to deliver the ‘Essential Security Interest’ measures identified within the Eurofighter proposal, should the aircraft be selected to replace Belgium’s F-16 fleet.

It enables further discussions on industry support for the establishment of two cutting-edge National Innovation Centres in Flanders and Wallonia – a key plank of the Eurofighter proposal. In addition, the agreement will act as the vehicle to discuss Belgian industry involvement in:

  • Maintenance and support of a Belgian Eurofighter fleet;
  • Future capability development for the aircraft; and
  • Development of a future combat air platform for Europe

BELAG - a joint venture company created by the seven major Belgian companies active in aeronautics, the three regional associations (BAG, EWA and FLAG) and national technology association, Agoria - signed the co-operation agreement with Germany and Spain-based Airbus Defence & Space, BAE Systems from the UK and Leonardo from Italy at an event in Brussels.

Chris Boardman, Group Managing Director for BAE Systems Air, said: “We are delighted to sign this agreement with Belgian Aeronautical Group. Our proposal through Eurofighter Typhoon is based on a clear track record of delivering industrial benefit across Europe. It sets out a long-term, strategic partnership to meet Belgium’s Essential Security Interests and offers a range of industrial proposals including opportunities around maintenance, repair and overhaul, an invitation to join Electronic Warfare and Mission Data generating facilities and development of a mission training requirement for the Belgian Air Component.”

Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence & Space, said: “We view Eurofighter as the vehicle to continue to develop technologies which will not only keep it at the leading edge of capability for many decades to come, but will see it become the bridge to a future pan-European combat system. The Eurofighter proposal will therefore help position Belgian industry for work on the development of such future programmes.”

Maurizio De Mitri, Senior Vice President at Leonardo, said: “The partner companies fully endorse Eurofighter as the best choice for Belgium. This agreement will act as the vehicle to ensure Belgian industry involvement in the Eurofighter programme and allow detailed discussion to agree what that future involvement will entail.”

Kris Van der Plas, President of BELAG, said: “This represents the first step to build upon the innovative aeronautical contributions already undertaken by Belgian-based companies and institutions on the world stage. BELAG looks forward to working closely with the Eurofighter industrial partners should the Belgian Government select the Eurofighter Typhoon to replace its F-16 fleet."

Source: BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)
Date: May 23, 2018