"Belgian government opts for F-35 fighter jet"

The Belgian government will choose the American F-35 fighter jet to replace the present F-16 jets, which need to be replaced due to old age. At least, that's according to the Belgian press agency Belga, which cites "various sources within the government". If the decision is confirmed, it means the end of a very long process. 

The selection procedure was started in March last year, 19 months ago. The contract is worth 3.5 billion euros, but if the F-35 fighter jets will have a lifespan of 40 years, this amount will reach 15 billion. 

The American government proposed the F-35 Lightning II from the Lockheed Martin group. The offer officially ran until last Sunday, but is said to have been extended with two weeks. Belga's sources said that "the decision has been made and the F-35 comes out on top, but now we are looking for the right way to explain our decision." There was no formal, official confirmation on Sunday. 

Among the other contenders was the Eurofighter Typhoon. Eurofighter is a British-German-Italian group.