Belgian Air Force
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Air Force

Current Title: Luchtcomposant/Composant Ačrienne
Title in English: Belgian Armed Forces Air Component
Abbreviation: FABCA


Narrative Summary:
One aircraft brought for Army Balloon Company (Compagnie des Ouvriers et Aerostiers) in July 1910. Aircraft section separated from Balloon section as Compagnie des Aviateurs on 16 April 1913. Air arm reorganised as Aviation Militaire on 20 March 1915. Renamed Aeronautique Militaire in 1925. In 1936 Defence Aerienne du Territore (DAT) formed, comprising Aeronautique Militaire and an anti-aircraft artillery organisation. Many aircraft destroyed on the ground during May 1940 invasion, with survivors retreating to France and then Britain. On 1 October 1946 the Belgische Luchtmacht/Force Aerienne Belge (Belgian Air Force) was formed from the Belgian squadrons of the British RAF. On 2 January 2002 all branches of the Belgian Armed Forces were combined under a single unified command. The Belgian Air Force became the Air Component.

Key Dates:
1 October 1946    Air Force formed from former Belgian-manned RAF units
1949    First jet aircraft delivered - Meteor F.4
1954    First helicopters received - Sycamore
2 January 2002    Air Force becomes Armed Forces Air Component

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
Complete the MLU upgrading of the F-16A/B to F-16AM/BM standard.
F-16 fleet to be reduced to 60 aircraft.
Planned procurement of 7 Airbus A400M transport aircraft.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

Belgian Air Component aircraft and helicopters use a letter-number serialling system - a one or two letter prefix designating the aircraft type and a one, two or three digit number for each airframe, e.g. F-16A FA22.


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

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service


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

Current Organisational Structure:
The flying units of the Belgian Air Component are administered by COMOPSAIR (Command Operations Air), which replaced the previous Tactical Air Force Command and Training & Instructional Group in September 2000. Additionally, Base Command is responsible for the infrastructure and maintenance. Individual Smaldeel (squadrons) are grouped into single airbase Wings.

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle:
List of Historical Orders of Battle - to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List:
To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
The main air bases currently used are Beauvechain, Florennes, Kleine Brogel, Bierset, Elsenborn, Koksijde and Brussels-Melsbroek. In addition, Belgian aircraft are detached to Cazaux in France for joint pilot training with the AdlA.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
In addition to the current main bases, some older bases have been closed and there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing - to be added.

More Information


Belgian Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


To be added.


Official Air Component Website

wikipedia: Belgian Air Force

Scramble: Belgian Air Force

Air-Britain Photos: Belgium Air Force

Belgian military aircraft register

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First Created: 24 November 1995 - Last Revised: 8 June 2008
Copyright © 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: