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September 10, 2018 | International, Aerospace

Accord belgo-britannique pour une participation à l'Eurofighter

Le groupe de défense et de sécurité britannique BAE Systems et les entreprises aéronautiques belges ont signé ce jeudi soir à Bruxelles un accord non exclusif de coopération. Il fixe les modalités de la participation de l'industrie belge au programme de l'avion de combat Eurofighter en cas de choix de cet appareil pour succéder aux F-16 vieillissants.

BAE Systems et des représentants des trois associations régionales - Entreprises wallonnes de l'aéronautique (EWA), Brussels Aeronautical Group (BAG) à Bruxelles et Flemish Aerospace Group (FLAG) en Flandre se sont mis d'accord sur les modalités d'une éventuelle collaboration si le gouvernement fédéral opte pour l'Eurofighter - Typhoon, avion de chasse britannique, pour remplacer les F-16 de l'armée belge.

Ce partenariat associe aussi les "clusters" qui leur sont liés, a-t-on expliqué de source industrielle en marge de la cérémonie de signature, organisée par l'ambassade du Royaume-Uni, qui promeut l'Eurofighter - Typhoon pour les Britanniques - en Belgique. Cet accord chapeaute en quelque sorte ceux déjà signés séparément par les industriels belges et les partenaires du consortium Eurofighter, rassemblant les trois principaux groupes européens du secteur - BAE Systems, Airbus Defence&Space (ASD) et Leonardo.

L'accord est non-exclusif car des industriels belges ont également conclu des ententes avec le groupe américain Lockheed Martin, constructeur du chasseur furtif F-35 Lightning II, et avec le groupement français qui propose, hors d'appel d'offres, le Rafale de Dassault Aviation. Il doit servir de tremplin pour discuter de la participation de l'industrie belge à la maintenance et au soutien d'une flotte belge d'Eurofighter, au développement des capacités futures de cet appareil européen et à la définition d'une plate-forme de combat aérien future. Le gouvernement Michel souhaite acheter 34 nouveaux chasseurs, pour un montant initial de près de 3,6 milliards d'euros.

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