Belgium retires first F-16 from use after nearly 40 years of ops

The Belgium Air Force (BAF) withdrew its first F-16AM (MLU) Fighting Falcon from operational use on September 8, after the multi-role fighter reached the 8,000 flight hour milestone.

The aircraft (FA-95) completed its final flight at Kleine-Brogel Air Base; an event that was witnessed by hundreds of aviation enthusiasts visiting the ‘Spotters Day’ that was held just days before Belgian Air Force Days 2023. Initially developed by General Dynamics in the 1970s (before the firm sold its manufacturing business to Lockheed Martin in 1995), the F-16 found its place in Belgian aviation through the Multi-National Fighter Program. In 1975, a decision was made to replace the BAF’s ageing F-104 Starfighter fleet with the Fighting Falcon.

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