>> Belgium chose Lockheed Martin's stealth fighter jets over a European rival Thursday, saying the US-made F-35 beat the Eurofighter on cost grounds. Belgium bought 34 of the planes in a 4.5 billion dollar deal. Reuters' Andrea Shalal says it's a blow for Eurofighter and its Typhoon jet.>> For the Eurofighter, this is a big setback.
The Belgian decision means that they've gotta fight that much harder for the rest of the competitions that are coming. Eurofighter is also facing some trouble because of the controversy now surrounding an order of 48 Eurofighters that are supposed to go to Saudi Arabia. Given the concern that have been raised about the killing of the Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the question now is that whether that order will proceed.
>> The F-35 can avoid detection by enemy radar. Eurofighter's Typhoon, on the other hand, is older, without that stealth capability. Manufacturers are working on upgrades, but that could make the Eurofighter even more expensive. Lockheed came in more than $680 million cheaper than its rival, Belgium said. Among competitions coming up, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, and Germany.
But it still won't be plain sailing for Lockheed.>> It could make it that much harder for them to win in Germany because the Eurofighter, having now lost Belgium, is going to put all of its eggs into the German basket to try to win all of the fighter jets that could possibly be sold there.
>> Belgium becomes the 12th country to order the F-35, saying it would help it cooperate with US-led NATO.