Nov 20, 2013
Belgium to launch F-16 replacement process
Belgium will issue a request for information in early 2014 to potential suppliers of a replacement for its F-16s.
The Belgian military has a current active fleet of 54 F-16A/Bs, with a further five being kept in flyable condition as an attrition reserve. Flown from Florennes and Kleine Brogel air bases, these are the retained examples from original acquisition of 160 of the type.
Current plans call for Belgium’s remaining F-16s to start leaving service in 2023.
Belgium has a close operational collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, which plans to replace its own F-16s with a fleet of 37 Lockheed F-35A Joint Strike Fighters. The US manufacturer has previously identified Belgium as being a potential future customer for the stealthy type.
The Belgian and Dutch governments recently signed an agreement under which they will pool the future delivery of air policing cover for both nations and Luxembourg.
Four of Belgium’s F-16s are currently providing quick reaction cover for Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on behalf of NATO.
Six Belgian F-16s are also now supporting the NATO-led ISAForce in Afghanistan, operating from Kandahar airfield.