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Scandal: Belgian f-16's could fly 6 years longer than reported; military withheld critical info

Cell_DbZ

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Lockheed Martin says Belgian F-16s can fly for another 6 years


Tue 20/03/2018 - 11:37 MB

The shelf life of the Belgian Airforce’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets is longer than the Belgian Government thinks. That’s according to a report by the planes’ constructers Lockheed Martin.


Normally an F-16 is good for 8,000 flight hours before it is time to withdraw it from service. The Belgian F-16s will have reached this threshold somewhere between 2023 and 2028.

Consequently, the Federal Government has invited tenders for an order of fighter jets that will replace the F-16.

However, according to Lockheed Martin the planes should able to fly for another 6 years. The plane-builder’s report speaks of a “severity factor” that is lower than average for the Belgian air force F-16s.

This means that the fighter jets could fly an extra 9,000 to 10,000 hours with no ill-effect. The Lockheed Martin report dates from 26 April last year.

Opposition demands answers
The Defence Minister Steven Vandeput (Flemish nationalist) has repeatedly said that there were no reports in existence on the extension of the F-16’s working life.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs the leader of the Flemish Socialist Party John Crombez (small photo) said "This information doesn’t appear to be true.”


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"I wouldn’t like to say that Mr Vandeput lied. Maybe he wasn’t aware of this report. There has been manipulation on the part of the heads of the armed services, because they have been in the position of the report for the past few months.”

The Flemish socialists want the procedure for the purchase of new fighter jets to be put on hold until there is greater clarity about the possibility of keeping the F-16’s in service for a few extra years. This view is shared by the Flemish greens.

Defence Minister: "I have never seen this report”


VRT

The Defence Minister Steven Vandeput told VRT Radio 1’s ‘De ochtend’ that he had never received the report. "I have no knowledge of it. I will look into it as quickly as possible”.

Mr Vandeput refused to comment on the possibility of extending the F-16s’ life. "I don’t know how thick the report is, let alone whether I can draw any conclusions from it".

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Politics/1.3166109


PM on F-16 controversy: "No decision until we have full transparency"

Thu 22/03/2018 - 15:45 Michaël Torfs

Prime Minister Charles Michel has said that the Belgian government will not take a decision about the purchase of new fighter jets until there is full transparency about the present controversy. A report has emerged stating that the antiquated F-16 fighter jets could be kept in service for another six years, just when the Defence department was preparing a final bid to purchase new jets, a deal worth several billion euros.

Apparently, some senior officials in the Belgian army had received a report from builders Lockheed Martin saying the lifespan of the jets could be expanded for at least another six years. Colonel Harold Van Pee, who is in charge of the dossier on the replacement of the F-16's, however failed to inform Defence Minister Steven Vandeput.

Belgium has been preparing a bid to buy new aircraft for months. The deal involves up to 15 billion euros and is a sensitive political issue. Today, Charles Michel was questioned in parliament on the topic. Belgium was planning to make a final decision on a new model by July's NATO summit, but this could take longer.

"Given the new information we received, there will not be a decision without full transparency on a decision process and only after a thorough analysis of the different options." An audit will be staged to find out what went wrong. The news has also become a political issue in the run-up to October's local elections. The Flemish socialists had put the cat among the pigeons by leaking an e-mail.

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Politics/1.3167102

@Vergennes The military top withheld critical info, so they could get new shiny toys (obviously the F-35)
Not too long ago, a contributor to our defence minister was fired recently for having shady contacts with... Lockheed Martin ---> a significant part of our government/military is deep in the American pockets...
 

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Did military top brass withhold information about drones too?

Fri 23/03/2018 - 10:32 MB

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the withholding of information concerning the lifespan of Belgium’s fleet of F-16 fighter jet. It has now emerged that politicians, including the Defence Minister, were keep, in the about import elements relating to the purchase of new drones for our country’s air force.
The news appears in Friday’s edition of the daily ‘De Morgen’. It is as yet unclear with this was part of a plan to deliberately manipulate the procurement process.

The Belgian Air Force has been looking to replace its existing Israeli drones. A tender for the procurement of new drones was issued in February of last year. Three companies, one American and two Israeli, replied.

By May of last year, a Belgian Air Force working party charged with examining the tenders had already made its choice. The two Israeli candidates were swept aside, leaving only the American-built drone in the running.

The reason given was that only the American-built drone would provide the necessary guarantees for operational cooperation with other EU or NATO members. Furthermore, there were also said to be issues surrounding the Israeli planes’ ability to gain certification from the relevant European body.

One of the two Israeli companies that bid for the tender Elbit says that this is nonsense. The company claims that information has been withheld from the Defence Minister Steven Vandeput (Flemish nationalist and his staff. Elbit also claims that it made it clear to those dealing with the tender on several occasions that their drone would obtain the relevant certification and that it had provided evidence to back this up. However, this information was not passed on to the office of the Defence Minister.

This of course begs the question of whether the information was deliberately withheld in order to manipulate the procurement process. The VRT’s defence expert Jens Franssen says that t is currently not yet clear whether this was the case.


http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Politics/1.3167352
 

Vergennes

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Lockheed Martin says Belgian F-16s can fly for another 6 years


Tue 20/03/2018 - 11:37 MB

The shelf life of the Belgian Airforce’s fleet of F-16 fighter jets is longer than the Belgian Government thinks. That’s according to a report by the planes’ constructers Lockheed Martin.


Normally an F-16 is good for 8,000 flight hours before it is time to withdraw it from service. The Belgian F-16s will have reached this threshold somewhere between 2023 and 2028.

Consequently, the Federal Government has invited tenders for an order of fighter jets that will replace the F-16.

However, according to Lockheed Martin the planes should able to fly for another 6 years. The plane-builder’s report speaks of a “severity factor” that is lower than average for the Belgian air force F-16s.

This means that the fighter jets could fly an extra 9,000 to 10,000 hours with no ill-effect. The Lockheed Martin report dates from 26 April last year.

Opposition demands answers
The Defence Minister Steven Vandeput (Flemish nationalist) has repeatedly said that there were no reports in existence on the extension of the F-16’s working life.

Speaking on VRT Radio 1’s morning news and current affairs the leader of the Flemish Socialist Party John Crombez (small photo) said "This information doesn’t appear to be true.”


concertphotographers.be

"I wouldn’t like to say that Mr Vandeput lied. Maybe he wasn’t aware of this report. There has been manipulation on the part of the heads of the armed services, because they have been in the position of the report for the past few months.”

The Flemish socialists want the procedure for the purchase of new fighter jets to be put on hold until there is greater clarity about the possibility of keeping the F-16’s in service for a few extra years. This view is shared by the Flemish greens.

Defence Minister: "I have never seen this report”


VRT

The Defence Minister Steven Vandeput told VRT Radio 1’s ‘De ochtend’ that he had never received the report. "I have no knowledge of it. I will look into it as quickly as possible”.

Mr Vandeput refused to comment on the possibility of extending the F-16s’ life. "I don’t know how thick the report is, let alone whether I can draw any conclusions from it".

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Politics/1.3166109


PM on F-16 controversy: "No decision until we have full transparency"

Thu 22/03/2018 - 15:45 Michaël Torfs

Prime Minister Charles Michel has said that the Belgian government will not take a decision about the purchase of new fighter jets until there is full transparency about the present controversy. A report has emerged stating that the antiquated F-16 fighter jets could be kept in service for another six years, just when the Defence department was preparing a final bid to purchase new jets, a deal worth several billion euros.

Apparently, some senior officials in the Belgian army had received a report from builders Lockheed Martin saying the lifespan of the jets could be expanded for at least another six years. Colonel Harold Van Pee, who is in charge of the dossier on the replacement of the F-16's, however failed to inform Defence Minister Steven Vandeput.

Belgium has been preparing a bid to buy new aircraft for months. The deal involves up to 15 billion euros and is a sensitive political issue. Today, Charles Michel was questioned in parliament on the topic. Belgium was planning to make a final decision on a new model by July's NATO summit, but this could take longer.

"Given the new information we received, there will not be a decision without full transparency on a decision process and only after a thorough analysis of the different options." An audit will be staged to find out what went wrong. The news has also become a political issue in the run-up to October's local elections. The Flemish socialists had put the cat among the pigeons by leaking an e-mail.

http://deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/Politics/1.3167102

@Vergennes The military top withheld critical info, so they could get new shiny toys (obviously the F-35)
Not too long ago, a contributor to our defence minister was fired recently for having shady contacts with... Lockheed Martin ---> a significant part of our government/military is deep in the American pockets...
Wonder what has Vandeput to say about this ? :angel:
 

Cell_DbZ

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Wonder what has Vandeput to say about this ? :angel:
Well, it was a complete humiliation for him; his own military top brass withheld that information from him. He said he was going to hold a "big clean up". Vandeput was doing his best to have a fair tender, but our generals had other ideas...

Of course this caused a sh1tstorm between the N-VA (party of Vandeput; also the biggest in Belgium) and the socialist party SP&A, with the latter called for Vandeput's resignation.

NV-A chairman Bart De Wever responded with saying that the socialist have their own political agenda and that they don't giva a crap. He also said that they shouls shut up, beacause they had their many corruption cases in the recent past. This also mirrored the Agusta scandal, where many prominent socialists got bribed by Agusta and Dassault. (possibly another reason why the N-VA is relucta,t getting the Rafale). The way Bart De Wever said that made people go "oh sh1t". My little text doesn't do any justice. :sarcastic:
 

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