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Belgium buys Dutch decommissioned F-16 for armorer training


The Belgian army has decided to buy back from the Netherlands a decommissioned F-16 fighter jet which will be used for the training of armorers of the Air component in the assembly of the various armaments (bombs and missiles) in its arsenal, Belga news agency revealed.

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Belgium buys Dutch decommissioned F 16 for armorer training

Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s are essentially block 15 airframes (Picture source: U.S. Air Force)


The announcement of the sale was the subject of a letter on August 20 to the Second Chamber (the lower house of parliament in The Netherlands) by the Dutch Secretary of State for Defense, Barbara Visser. This is an F-16 withdrawn from service after reaching its structural limit - and therefore no longer airworthy. The aircraft purchased in the Netherlands will be transferred to Belgium by road - in October, according to the specialized site A l'Avant Garde - and will only serve as a training platform in the handling of weapons.

The Belgian Air component still operates 54 F-16AM/BM single and two-seaters, based at Florennes (Wallonia) and Kleine Brogel (Flanders).

The Dutch Air Force (KLu) has started receiving fifth-generation American F-35A Lightning II fighters to replace its F-16s. In Belgium, the withdrawal of the F-16s is expected to take place between 2023 and 2030, while the delivery of the 34 F-35As on order is scheduled between 2023 and 2030, with the arrival of the first aircraft at the Florennes base in 2025.