Belgian Army Aviation
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Belgium
Army Aviation

Current Title: Landcomponent/Composante Terrestre
Title in English: Belgian Armed Forces Army Component
Abbreviation: FABCT

History

Narrative Summary:
First AOP aircraft received in mid 1947. Army control of aviation section established 1 May 1954, under the title Licht Vliegwezen van de Belgische Landmacht/Aviation Legere de la Force Terrestre Belge (Belgian Army Light Aviation). During 1995 the three units based in Germany were relocated back to Belgian territory. On 2 January 2002 all branches of the Belgian Armed Forces were combined under a single unified command. The Belgian Army became the Land Component, and the aviation branch operated under the title Groepering Licht Vliegwezen/Groupement d'Aviation Légère (Light Aviation Group). In 2004 this unit was absorbed into the Air Component.

Key Dates:
mid 1947    Army begins using aircraft.
1 May 1954    Army aviation unit established.
1 July 2004    Army aviation absorbed into the Air Component.

Current Status:
In 2004 Army aviation was amalgamated into the Air Component, and became part of the Helicopter Wing at Bierset.

Future Plans:
Not applicable.

Markings

National Insignia:

          Main markingFin Flash
The main marking was displayed on the fuselage sides of the helicopters, and the standard 6 positions on fixed wing aircraft. The fin flash was not carried by helicopters. Army aircraft did not carry service titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
Belgian army aircraft and helicopters use the same serialling system as the air force - a one or two letter prefix and a one, two or three digit number for each airframe, e.g. Do 27J D05.

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Coding system not used

Aircraft

Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Not applicable.

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Aerospatiale SA 330C Puma 3 1978 1986 France
Agusta A109BA 46 1992 2004 local
Airspeed Horsa 1 1951 1960 UK
Britten-Norman BN-2A Islander 12 1976 2004 local
Dornier Do 27J-1 12 1960 1978 Germany
MBLE Epervier/Asmondee 49 1965 1999 local
Piper L-18C Super Cub 36 1952 1969 USA
Piper L-21B Super Cub 6 1975 1997 USA
Piper PA-22 Caribbean 150 (Tripacer) 1 1960 1961 USA
Sud Aviation SA313B Alouette II 39 1959 1991 France
Sud Aviation SA318 Alouette II 51 1959 2004 France

Aircraft NOT Used:
Some SA316B Alouette IIIs were reported in use in 1974 - only the Navy used this type.

Organisation

Main Headquarters:
Quartier Reine Elisabeth, Rue D'Evere, 1140 Bruxelles.

Organisational Structure:
Young pilots graduated on the Alouette at the Light Aviation School at Brasschaat and then went on to the 16th Bn HLn, (which had 14 Alouette II and five BN-2s), for two years before converting to the A-109 Hirundo.

The Light Aviation Group at Bierset comprised the 'offensive' arm of the force. The 18 BnHATk was assigned to reinforce the Multinational Division (Center) - the so-called MND (C) which regrouped four airmobile or para brigades from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. The 17 BnHATk was assigned to the Eurocorps, which had longer reaction times than the MND(C).

Current Order of Battle:
Not applicable.

Historical Orders of Battle:
The last Order of Battle in 2004 was:
Regiment Type Base
16 Bn HLn Alouette II, Islander Bierset
17 Bn HATk A109BA/HO Bierset
18 Bn HATk A109BA/HO Bierset
SLV Alouette II, Islander Brasschaat
SLV = School Licht Vliegwezen (Flying School)
The units at Bierset formed the Groupement d'Aviation Légère/Groepering Licht Vliegwezen

All-Time Flying Units List:
To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
Not applicable.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
To be added.

More Information

Books:

To be added

Magazines:

World Air Power Journal No.1 p.140
Air Forces Research No.7
Scramble No.214 (March 1997)

Websites:

Official Land Component Website

wikipedia: Belgian Land Component

airliners.net

Historiche site van de Heli Wing

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First Created: 25 November 1995 - Last Revised: 7 June 2008
Copyright © 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk