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.

img_64-1.jpg
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.

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 offers and access a wealth of world-class aviation content.