Belgian Naval Aviation
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Naval Aviation

Current Title: Marine Component/Composante Marine
Title in English: Belgian Armed Forces Navy Component
Abbreviation: FABMC


Narrative Summary:
The Naval Flight of the Belgische Zeemacht/Force Navale Belge (Belgian Navy) was established in the mid 1960s for coastal SAR and shipboard support duties. On 2 January 2002 all branches of the Belgian Armed Forces were combined under a single unified command. The Belgian Navy became the Navy Component. Aircraft are maintained by the Air Component on behalf of the Navy.

Key Dates:
1962    Naval aviation resumed using Sikorsky HSS-1 helicopters.
2 January 2002    Belgian Armed Forces amalgamated under a single command.

Current Status:
Belgian naval helicopters are used primarily for shipboard support and coastal Search & Rescue (SAR) missions.

Future Plans:
The Alouette IIIs will be replaced by the NHI NH.90 New Frigate Helicopter.


National Insignia:

          Main markingFin Flash
The main marking (with the addition of an anchor similar to the French Navy marking) is displayed on the fuselage sides of the helicopters. The fin flash is not carried.

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):
Belgian naval 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. Alouette III M2.

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


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

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Total
Role Origin
NHI NH90 NFH 4* - Liaison/SAR International
Sud Aviation SA.316B Alouette III 3 3 Liaison/SAR France
* on order.

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Click on aircraft type for more details
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
NHI NH90 NFH 4* - - International
Sikorsky HSS-1 2 1962 1978 France
Sud Aviation SA.316B Alouette III 3 1971 current France
* on order.

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service - none known.


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

Current Organisational Structure:
40 Smaldeel is a joint Air Component/Navy Component unit with the Alouettes being used by the Naval Flight and the Sea Kings used by the SAR Flight.

Current Order of Battle:
Click on unit name for more details
Squadron Type Base
40 Sqn - SAR Flight Sea King Mk.48* Koksijde
40 Sqn - Navy Flight Alouette III Koksijde
* The Sea Kings are officially Air Component owned but used for Naval cooperation duties.

Historical Orders of Battle:
Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List:
Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
All helicopters are operated from Koksijde.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
The only air base used has been Koksijde.
Military Air Bases Listing
Aircraft & helicopter carrying ships listing

More Information


Belgian Miliary Aviation 1945-1977 (Midland Counties)


World Air Power Journal No.1 p.132


Official Naval Component Website

wikipedia: Belgian Naval Component

Sea King Mission

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First Created: 25 November 1995 - Last Revised: 20 November 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: