• Short Summary

    Belgian Interior Minister, Joseph Michel announced his country's decision to buy the American F-16 lightweight fighter, in preference to its French rival, the Mirage F-1E, on Saturday (7 June).

  • Description

    Belgian Interior Minister, Joseph Michel announced his country's decision to buy the American F-16 lightweight fighter, in preference to its French rival, the Mirage F-1E, on Saturday (7 June).

    Both planes were on display at the Paris International Air Show this week.

    The Belgian decision means the United States has now clinched what has been termed "the arms deal of the country", for the supply of 350 aircraft to four NATO countries, contracts worth more than 2,000 million U.S. dollars.

    Norway, Holland and Denmark had already agreed to purchase the F-16 as a replacement for the Starfighter, provided that Belgium did the same.

    M. Claude-Benno Valieres, Chief Executive of Marcel Dassault..the French manufactures of the Mirage F-1...described the Belgian decision as a bitter blow for the French and European aircraft industry.

    M. Valieres also claimed it was an even harder blow for European unity.

    He said the choice was obviously political, but added that his company would continue to construct the F-1.

    SYNOPSIS: The French combat aircraft, the Mirage F-1E...losing contender in what has been described as the "arms deal of the century." The Belgian decision to replace their Starfighters with the new American lightweight fighter, the F-16, means that the United States has clinched contracts with four NATO countries for the supply of 350 aircraft, worth more than 2,000 million dollars. Norway, Denmark and Holland had already agreed to purchase the F-16..provided the Belgians did the same. M. Claude-Benno Valieres, chief executive of Marcel-Dassault..the French manufacturers' who produced the Mirage F-1..described Belgium's choice as a bitter blow for the French and European aircraft industries.

    M. Valieres also claimed the decision was an even harder blow for Europeans unity. He added that the choice was obviously political, but that his company would continue a construct the Mirage F-1. The Belgian Cabinet made their choice on Saturday after weeks of hesitation.

    Both the F-16 and Mirage F-1 were on display at the Paris Air Show on Friday. General Dynamic's F-16 was unveiled only eighteen months ago. The revolutionary lightweight swept-wing combat fighter has a top speed over Mach 2.2 (about fifteen hundred miles per hour). Each 'plane is built at a cost of around three million dollars (??? million sterling).

    The Dassault Mirage has a new M53 turbojet engine, and costs approximately twice as much as its American rival. But the single-seater, multi mission aircraft has a top speed Mach 2.5...much faster than F-16. Dassault-Marcel are still hopeful of selling the F-1. When the NATO countries previously chose the CF-104 Starfighter, the French company was still able to sell one thousand six hundred Mirage threes and fives.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAAJZ5RD7YRGZ89D6CJ1Y3NSZN
    Media URN:
    VLVAAJZ5RD7YRGZ89D6CJ1Y3NSZN
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    07/06/1975
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:00:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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