Belgium has quietly sent out Requests for Information (RFI) to five different aircraft manufacturers about a future replacement fighter aircraft for the current but ageing Belgian Air Component’s Lockheed-Martin F-16AM/BM fighters.
The Ministry of Defence has asked for more info on the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen and the Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoon, according to sources in Belgian media.
The first of 160 Belgian F-16s entered service on 29 January 1979. Over the years, the number of F-16s in use was reduced to 72, with a further reduction to 60 scheduled for 2015. The type is to remain flying with Belgian Air Component until 2023.
© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest