On 22 December 2015, the Belgian government confirmed a requirement for 34 new multi-role combat aircraft to replace the 54 ageing Belgian F-16s in the 2023 to 2028 timeframe. The Belgian defence staff established a formal Air Combat Capability Program (ACCaP).
The program aims at selecting a partner government with whom to negotiate and conclude adequate government-to-government agreements in order to preserve a credible Belgian air combat capability when the current F-16 fleet is retired.
To support the December 2015 government decision, the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) could draw upon the information collected by its defence staff during a preliminary ‘Preparation Phase’. As part of this phase, in June 2014, the defence staff sent out a Request for Information (RFI) entitled ‘Preparation Survey’. The RFI was sent to the government agencies responsible for export support of those multi-role combat aircraft that can reasonably be expected to be in production in the required delivery time frame.
At the time, a conscious decision was made to address the RFI only to NATO or EU partner governments.
On 30 June 2016, the Belgian Council of Ministers noted the Strategic Vision paper for Belgian Defence, confirming the requirement for 34 new multi-role aircraft. The Council asked the Minister of Defence to start implementing the new capabilities that the vision paper calls for.
On 17 March 2017, the Belgian Council of Ministers decided to start the acquisition process for the renewal of the Belgian Air Combat Capability and in doing so approved the release of this Request for Government Proposal (RfGP).
The issuance of this RfGP concludes the preparation phase of the ACCaP and is to be considered the start of the ‘Program Phase’.
RfGP Structure and Aim
This RfGP lays out the overall framework for the ACCaP (Part 1 General), explains the processes, procedures and timelines to be observed (Part 2 Process), lists the requirements (Part 3 Requirement) and imposes a template for the resulting government proposal (Part 4 Proposal).
This RfGP aims to provide the government agencies with information of a sufficient quality so that they can reciprocate in kind. In order to respect the proposed schedule and in order to be able to compare proposals on equal terms, the government agencies are requested to present their responses in accordance with the methodology and templates as described in Part 4.
Three types of output will be requested:
- An outline of a future Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (PMoU);
- Replies to an Information Request Table (IRT);
- A filled-out Cost Data Table (CDT).
Click here for the full RFP (247 PDF pages) on the Belgian MoD website.