In October 2018, the Belgian authorities announced the acquisition of 34 F-35A combat aircraft from the American Lockheed-Martin to replace its fleet of F-16s, thus aligning themselves with the Dutch choice, Amsterdam having ordered in 2013 37 devices of this type, a format that will evolve to 52 devices today, and which could well continue to grow now that the Dutch authorities have undertaken to increase their defense effort to 2% of GDP. However, the decision of the Michel government in 2018, largely conditioned by the intense lobbying of NATO and the Flemish Minister of Defense Steven Vandeput, has never ceased to stir up controversy across the country, with in particular a recurring questioning on the part of many Belgian parliamentarians. And the recent revelations published earlier this week in the Brussels press will likely generate a new wave of protests, as the country wonders about the possibility of ordering additional devices.
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