Lockheed Martin’s American F-35 Lightning II is successfully conquering the European market. The road to success is not smooth, but the fifth-generation fighter is slowly but surely beating the competition.
Great Demand For F-35 Lightning II
Despite the fact that the European Union recommends that countries buy European aircraft, many nations have a preference for Lockheed Martin fighters. Great Britain, Norway, Italy and the Netherlands immediately expressed a desire to buy the F-35 Lightning II. Later they were joined by Belgium and Poland.
Finland, too, opted for an American aircraft, signing a contract worth $11 billion, choosing between the F-35, Rafale, Gripen and Eurofighter. Switzerland followed the same way, and two months ago, Germany unexpectedly ordered the F-35, although the state itself actively promotes the Eurofighter. Recall that the Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug office is located in Bavaria.
Countries prefer Lockheed Martin airplanes because of serial production, unique capabilities and long life cycle. In addition, the cost of operating the fighters is now falling – down 50% over the past seven years.
Spain has started negotiating to buy the F-35A and F-35B to replace the F/A-18 and AV/8B.
Portugal, too, is beginning negotiations to upgrade its fighter fleet amid the F-16-Fighting Falcon nearing the end of its service life. Nevertheless, Lisbon has all chances to get European Eurofighter or Rafale. By the way, the French fighters Rafale were ordered by Croatia and Greece, despite the plans of the latter to buy 20 planes F-35. Romania is making a similar decision.
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