Belgium has decided to purchase nearly three dozen F-35 fighter jets, edging out the Eurofighter Typhoon and creating another customer for the multinational program.

“The United States welcomes the decision by the government of Belgium to purchase thirty-four new F-35 fighter aircraft,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. “Belgium is now poised to fly the F-35 alongside its closest NATO allies and longtime partners.”

Belgian officials announced the decision Thursday, concluding a competition between the Lockheed Martin F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, a jet built in coordination with four European governments. The planes will replace Belgium's older U.S.-made F-16s.

“The United States is proud of our enduring air partnership with Belgium, a country whose air power has contributed to the defeat ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria, and NATO’s Baltic air policing mission,” Nauert said. “With Belgium’s commitment to the F-35 program, its five-star aerospace industry will continue to expand as it supports this fifth-generation aircraft, which was jointly developed with European partners.”

Belgian officials didn’t fully explain why they chose the F-35 over the European-made rival, but a number of factors point to the potential threat of conflict with Russia.

“Most importantly, F-35 is the only aircraft currently being produced anywhere that is invisible to Russian radars,” Forbes’ Loren Thompson observed last month. “But there are other compelling reasons for buying the more survivable F-35. It is the only plane in the competition equipped to carry the tactical nuclear weapons that deter aggression from the East — a role in which Belgium's air force has long participated.”

The announcement comes just days after President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from a treaty banning Russian or American deployment of land-based, intermediate-range nuclear weapons. The 1987 arms control agreement was designed to prevent a nuclear arms race in Europe, whose capitals could be destroyed quickly by missiles fired from just a few thousand miles away or less. But Russia has deployed such missiles already recent years in violation of the deal, according to U.S. officials.

“Belgium’s participation in the F-16 program has been a cornerstone of our modern transatlantic defense partnership,” Nauert said. “We look forward to continuing this partnership for many decades to come with the F-35 program."