Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft

World Aviation Defense & Security News - Belgium
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft
In 2014, a study request was launched by Belgium to start the replacement process for the F-16 fighter aircraft of the Belgian Air Force. According the new strategic plan of the Belgian Ministry of Defense published in June 2016, Belgium will acquire 34 new fighter aircraft for a total amount of €3.6 billion.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft F16 640 001
The Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighter
An RFP will be released in the next few months to replace the 54 F-16 fighter aircraft from the Belgian Air Force by a fleet of 34 new modern combat aircraft. The first delivery is expected to start in 2023.

According Belgium military sources there is five aircraft in the competition, with the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed F-35 and Saab Gripen.

Belgium typically plays a supporting role in international operations, and will continue to do so in coming years. Belgium needs a multirole fighter aircraft able to perform air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft F18 640 001U.S. Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet (Photo US Navy)
The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and related twin-seat F/A-18F are twin-engine carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is an attack aircraft as well as a fighter through selected use of external equipment and advanced networking capabilities to accomplish specific missions.

The first operational cruise of Super Hornet, F/A-18 E, was with VFA-115 onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) on July 24, 2002, and saw initial combat action on Nov. 6, 2002, when they participated in a strike on hostile targets in the "no-fly" zone in Iraq.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft Rafale 640 001
A French Air Force Dassault Rafale (Photo Wikipédia)
The Dassault Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by the French Company Dassault Aviation.

The Dassault Rafale is able to perform a wide range of short and long-range missions, including ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes and nuclear strike deterrence.

The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. The Rafale has been combat tested in several conflict areas including, Libya, Irak, Afghanistan, Mali and recently Libya. The Dassault Rafale was also chosen by India, Egypt and Qatar.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft Typhoon 640 001
A RAF Eurofighter Typhoon (Photo Peter Gronemann)
Eurofighter Typhoon is an advanced swing-role combat aircraft providing simultaneously deployable Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface capabilities. It is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter.

The Typhoon was designed and is manufactured by a consortium of Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Group and BAE Systems that conducts the majority of the project through a joint holding company, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH formed in 1986.

Later production aircraft have been increasingly better equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment including Storm Shadow and the RAF's Brimstone. The Typhoon saw its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing aerial reconnaissance and ground strike missions.

It is in service with 6 customers (Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia) across 20 operational units and has been ordered by two more.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft Gripen 640 001
Swedish Air Force JAS 39 Gripen (Photo Matthias Kabel)
The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a light single-engine multirole fighter aircraft manufactured by the Swedish aerospace company Saab. The Gripen entered service with the Swedish Air Force in 1997. Upgraded variants, featuring more advanced avionics and adaptations for longer mission times, began entering service in 2003.

The Gripen E is an enhanced version of the Gripen C/D multi-role aircraft. The new fighter aircraft, whose initial delivery is scheduled for 2018, will replace the Swiss Air Force's fleet of Northrop F-5E/F Tiger.
The Gripen is a multirole fighter aircraft, intended to be a lightweight and agile aerial platform incorporating advanced, highly adaptable avionics.

The Gripen is compatible with a number of different armaments, beyond the aircraft's single 27 mm Mauser BK-27 cannon (omitted on the two-seat variants),[129] including air-to-air missiles such as the AIM-9 Sidewinder, air-to-ground missiles such as the AGM-65 Maverick, and anti-ship missiles such as the RBS-15.

There were 186 Gripens in service with military users as of January 2013. The Gripen is in service with Czech Republic, South Africa, Sweden, and ordered by Thailand, Brazil and Hungary.
Belgian Air Force to replace its F-16 Fighter aircraft F35 640 001
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (Photo US Air Force)
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters undergoing final development and testing by the United States.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three variants of the F-35 will replace legacy fighters for the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 other countries around the world.

The first F-35A (designated AA-1) was rolled out in Fort Worth, Texas, on 19 February 2006. In September 2006, the first engine run of the F135 in an airframe took place. On 15 December 2006, the F-35A completed its maiden flight.

The US Marines declared the aircraft had met initial operational capability on 31 July 2015, despite shortcomings in night operations, communications, software and weapons carriage capabilities.

The F-35A is armed with a GAU-22/A, a four-barrel version of the 25 mm GAU-12 Equalizer cannon.[284] The cannon is mounted internally with 182 rounds for the F-35A or in an external pod with 220 rounds for the F-35B and F-35C. The F-35 has two internal weapons bays, and external hardpoints for mounting up to four underwing pylons and two near wingtip pylons.

The F-35 was ordered by Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Turkey and United States.
Video report and interviews during the Belgian Air Force Days