Belgian F-16s will guard Dutch skies and vice versa from 2016 on. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Joint air defence for BeNeLux

Belgian F-16s will guard Dutch skies and vice versa from 2016 on. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
Belgian F-16s will guard Dutch skies and vice versa from 2016 on. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

The three countries of the BeNeLux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) will start a joint air defence in 2016. The move was announced on Wednesday, and will lead to one Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) covering all three countries.

The Belgian and Dutch secretaries of Defence will sign a letter of intent about the joint defence. Both countries will work together closely with Luxembourg, which has now defence forces of its own. Earlier talks were held last year.

Belgium and the Netherlands both have F-16s on QRA to intercept unknown incoming aircraft. The reduction to one single QRA will reduce costs and also free up Dutch pilots for future F-35A Lightning II operations.

Source: Ministerie van Defensie