Belgium’s Multi-Role Mirages

Gen Michel Mandl (ret’d), former Chief of Staf of the Belgian Air Force and a Mirage 5 pilot, recounts the type’s service with the air arm during the Cold War.

The three types of Belgian Mirage M5 B in formation: reconnaissance BR, attack BA and twin-seat BD.
Ulrich de Bruyn via author

In 1963, Belgium ordered 112 Lockheed F-104 Starfighters. Yet that number of aircraft was not sufficient to re-equip the Belgian Air Force’s entire fighterbomber fleet. This was also the case for the Netherlands and both countries were forced to acquire a number of additional aircraft to replace the aging Republic F-84F Thunderstreak.

The Dutch as well as the Norwegians took a swift decision and chose the American Northrop F-5, while the Royal Danish Air Force opted for the Swedish Saab Draken.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view. You can also access it if you’re subscribed to one of our Key Publishing magazines.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Why not join our community of aviation enthusiasts? Pick one of our introductory offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.