21 octobre 2018 | International, Aérospatial

La Belgique devrait choisir Lockheed plutôt qu'Eurofighter

BERLIN (Reuters) - La Belgique devrait choisir d'ici la fin du mois quel avion de combat remplacera ses F-16 vieillissants, a appris Reuters de plusieurs sources, et elle devrait, selon des experts du secteur, préférer le F35 de Lockheed Martin au Typhoon d'Eurofighter.

L'attribution de ce marché de plusieurs milliards de dollars était attendue en juillet avant le sommet de l'Otan à Bruxelles. Elle a été repoussée en raison des élections communales en Belgique, dimanche dernier, et d'un rapport qui a semé le trouble en suggérant que la durée d'exploitation des F-16 aurait pu être prolongée.

Les Etats-Unis, à la demande de Bruxelles, ont prolongé de deux semaines, jusqu'au 31 octobre, les termes de leur offre portant sur 34 chasseurs F-35, ont dit des sources américaines.

Un nouveau report, ont-elles ajouté, pourrait entraîner une modification du prix proposé.

Harry Breach, analyste chez Raymond James basé à Londres, a estimé que la compétition tournait à l'avantage du F-35, en notant que les pilotes belges sont déjà familiarisés avec les F-16, qui sont aussi construits par Lockheed.

Le Typhoon d'Eurofighter serait une option plus onéreuse, a-t-il ajouté. "Pour des raisons de coût, les petits pays ont tendance à choisir un avion à réaction de taille, charge utile et portée plus réduites. Tout cela suggère le choix des F-35."

Aucun commentaire n'a pu être obtenu auprès du ministère belge de la Défense mais, selon des sources haut placées, une décision est probable avant la fin du mois.

Eurofighter est un consortium constitué du Royaume-Uni, de l'Allemagne, de l'Italie et de l'Espagne.

La France, qui dispose du Rafale fabriqué par Dassault Aviation, n'a pas répondu à l'appel d'offres officiel de la Belgique. Selon des sources industrielles, elle serait cependant soucieuse d'éviter que le F-16 gagne du terrain en Europe et aurait proposé à la Belgique une coopération étroite en matière de défense.

 

 

(Andrea Shalal, Dominique Rodriguez pour le service français, édité par Marc Angrand)

https://www.zonebourse.com/LOCKHEED-MARTIN-CORPORATI-13406/actualite/La-Belgique-devrait-choisir-Lockheed-plutot-qu-Eurofighter-27453698/

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