February 14, 2018 / 6:17 PM / 2 years ago

Britain submits proposal for new Typhoon jets to Belgium

FILE PHOTO: A member of staff works in the cockpit of an aircraft on the Eurofighter Typhoon production line at BAE systems Warton plant near Preston, northern England September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Wednesday submitted its final offer of Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Belgium, the UK’s defence ministry said, in a proposal which includes 34 planes and support services.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is a joint project between British defence group BAE Systems, France’s Airbus and Italy’s Leonardo, and Britain said the proposal had the support of all three nations plus Germany.

“These proven jets offer Belgium a formidable capability which forms the backbone of European air power, as well as a comprehensive long-term defence and industrial partnership with the UK,” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said in a statement.

“Belgium’s selection of the Typhoon would be a powerful demonstration of us working together to support security across the continent in the face of intensifying threats.”

No financial details of the proposal were disclosed and Belgian officials were not immediately available for comment.

Other possible options for Belgium include Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 jets, after the U.S. State Department last month approved the possible sale of 34 of the planes to Belgium for $6.53 billion (£4.7 billion).

Last December, Germany said it favoured the Eurofighter as it looks to replace its Tornado jets, and the defence ministry said the invitation from Belgium to submit an offer reflected “strong confidence” in the jet.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Additional reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; Editing by David Holmes

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