BELGIAN AIR COMPONENT F-16A MLU FIGHTING FALCON
Today's Belgian Air Component operates a rather smaller force of F-16 Fighting Falcons than did the former Belgian Air Force, but these are now true multi-role aircraft as opposed to pure fighters thanks in no small part to the MLU (Mid-Life Upgrade) programme begun in the 1990s. Belgium ordered an original 116 F-16s as part of a huge deal for the type that also involved Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway; a follow-on order took the fleet to 160. Of those, 54 aircraft now remain in active service with two wings. Belgian F-16s have taken part in coalition air operations over the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, as well as the Baltic Air Policing initiative. The 2015 display aircraft, sporting a new colour scheme dubbed 'Blizzard', is provided by 10th wing at Kleine Brogel, and flown (in his first season as the demo pilot) by Cdt Tom 'Gizmo' De Moortel.