What to expect from the Belgian Air Force Days 2018?

By Nathan Gain

Over a few days, Belgium will once again draw military birds fan’s attention, as the country will host one of the most stunning air show in Europe : the Belgian Air Force Days. This event will be held at the Kleine-Brogel Airbase, Sept. 7-9.

Belgian Air Force Days 2018 001 (Credit: Belgian Air Force Days)

And “Ready for the future” is what the BAF would like to show the visitors during the Belgian Air Force Days 2018, the col. Geert De Decker, Commander of the Kleine-Brogel Airbase says. ”We are preparing ourselves for the tasks of tomorrow. During this spectacular show we would like to show you this and much more,” adds the col. De Decker on the show’s website.

No need to repeat it: the BAF is in full transition with all its capabilities in order to face future security challenges. The aging fleets of C-130H and B-Hunter UAV are to be replaced by brand new A400M Atlas airlifters and a new MALE UAV which will be selected in a near future. 

But most important is the F-16 replacement program, the Air Combat Capability Program (ACCaP), for which two contenders officially answered the RfGP in February: BAE Systems with the Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin and the F-35A. Belgium is also evaluating the French proposal to buy Rafales and join the development of the fighter of the future. 

As the Belgian government final decision is expected by October, the BAF Days 2018 event is certainly one of the last occasions for the three aircraft maker to publicly show their aircraft’s capabilities to the Belgian people. 

If the Rafale and Typhoon are expected to kindle the Belgian airspace once again, the F-35A will stay on the ground, the show organizers confirmed today. In addition to the usual full size mock up, there will be a real F-35A for the first time in Belgium, namely one of the two F-35A recently handed over to the Italian Air Force. Since March 1, 2018, this F-35A fighter jet of the 32nd Wing of Amendola (32nd Stormo) is formally taking part in the country's National Air Defense System. Besides the aircraft, Lockheed Martin will also showcase a cockpit demonstrator in the VIP area. 

Check out the BAF Days 2018 full line up here