Belgian Aeronautical Group (BELAG) has signed an agreement with the partner companies of the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft programme to support future cooperation if Belgium selects the aircraft to replace its existing F-16 fleet.

Germany and Spain-based Airbus Defence & Space, UK company BAE Systems, and Leonardo from Italy signed the agreement with BELAG.

Under the cooperation agreement, the companies will work in collaboration to deliver the ‘Essential Security Interest’ measures required within the Eurofighter proposal.

BAE Systems Air group managing director Chris Boardman said: “Our proposal through Eurofighter Typhoon is based on a clear track record of delivering industrial benefit across Europe.

“BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced, flexible and agile combat jet that can be simultaneously used to carry out both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.”

“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.”

The collaboration supports further discussions on the proposed development of two advanced National Innovation Centres in Flanders and Wallonia in Belgium.

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Furthermore, the current agreement will serve as an opportunity to discuss the Belgian industry involvement in maintenance and support of a Belgian Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, as well as capability development for the aircraft in the future, and development of a future combat air platform for Europe.

BELAG is a joint venture (JV) company comprising seven major aeronautics-based companies from Belgium, the three regional associations, BAG, EWA, and FLAG, as well as national technology association Agoria.

The agreement for the two National Innovation Centres was signed by BAE Systems and three UK-based academic and research organisations in January, including the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, the University of Manchester, and the Welding Institute.

BAE Systems’ Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced, flexible and agile combat jet that can be simultaneously used to carry out both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions.