The Belgian government has picked the US F-35A fighter plane to succeed its aging fleet of F-16s, a decision criticized for its cost when a European alternative was also available, AP said. The F-35A is produced by the US’s Lockheed Martin. Several NATO allies, including the neighboring Netherlands, have already picked the US plane too, allowing for more cooperation and synergies across the alliance. The estimated cost of the 34 planes is some $4.6 billion. “If you want security, you have to contribute to it,” Vice Premier Alexander De Croo said on Thursday. The Eurofighter, made by several EU countries, and France’s Rafale were among the other options for Belgium to choose from.