The past four years have proved fruitful for Lockheed Martin in Europe, as six nations have hitched their wagons to the American company’s fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet

Six European nations opted for the F-35 stealth fighter jet in the past four years. The U.S F-35 beat home-grown rivals in Europe, like Rafale & Eurofighter Typhoon. Rafale bagged big orders, but mainly outside Europe - India, UAE, Egypt, Qatar etc.

Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Czech Republic & Poland picked the F-35 jet. The F-35 provides an asymmetric advantage across the multi-domain spectrum. The F-35’s ability to collect, analyse & share data is a powerful force multiplier.

Despite calls from French leaders for its neighbours to “buy European,” the F-35 has consistently beat out homegrown candidates in the most recent fighter jet competitions, including the Dassault Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, and the Eurofighter Typhoon developed by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo.

This wave of success comes down to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s high rate of interoperability with allies and partners, particularly in NATO, along with its guaranteed upgrade road map, analysts told Defence News. But more than anything, they noted, the jet arrived in Europe with pristine timing, as multiple nations were itching to refresh their fleets by the end of the decade DefenseNews has reported.