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Belgium eyes new air capability for its Special Forces

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World Defense & Security News - Belgium
 
 
Belgium eyes new air capability for its Special Forces
 
The Belgian defense ministry plans to increase the air capabilities of its Special Forces as unveiled in a plan called “Defense Strategic Vision for 2030”. Between 2025-27, the Defense ministry considers creating a new squadron of special mission aircraft and adding new capabilities to its fleet of NH90 Multirole Transport Helicopters.
     
Belgian SOF air capability 640 001A Belgian NH90 Multirole Transport Helicopter during ex. Black Blade 2016
     
Another aspect of our SOF capability reinforcement is the desire to create a SOF Specialized Aviation unit, based on four small Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) aircraft able to operate from short and unprepared tracks and which, thanks to their relatively high operational range and their discretion, will be adapted to SOF insertion, extraction and supplying missions”, said the Belgian Defense Ministry in its plan.

These four aircraft could also be equipped to carry out medical evacuations and to provide ISR and Close Air Support capabilities for the Special Forces. Platforms such as the Swiss-made Pilatus PC-6 aircraft would be considered by 2025. The planned STOL aircraft are to be integrated in a new 38-strong “SOF Aviation” unit. Belgium plans to allocate a 130 M€ budget to create this new capability.

The country will also study the possibility to purchase and integrate new tactical kits to upgrade its fleet of NH90 Multirole Transport Helicopters , such as MEDEVAC or Special Missions ones.