Kleine-Brogel Air Force Base is located in the north-eastern part of Belgium and hosted this year’s edition of
“Belgian Air Force Days” on the weekend of the 8th and 9th of September. Also, a Spotterday was organized on
September 7th, where arriving and practicing aircraft could be watched.
Kleine-Brogel is home to the 10th Tactical Fighter Wing and is one of two Belgian airbases that are equipped
with the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The event itself showed a very strong international participation which to this extend was
certainly above average. The flying display lasted from 10 am to 6 pm and included many highlights
as for example a Greek F-16C Block52+ with conformal fuel tanks, Swiss F/A-18C, Belgian Seaking Mk48,
Czech JAS 39C Gripen, Danish F-16AM, Spanish EF-18M, Belgian NH-90-NFH and a spectacular painted F-16AM
called "Dark Falcon". Also, the display of four Belgian F-16 called "Thunder Tigers" was very much welcomed.
They performed very pleasing formation flybys which was topped by a combined formation with a Dutch KDC-10
simulating an air refueling. However, for many the most fascinating aircraft was the display of a Ukrainian
Su-27 painted in a very attractive “digital” camouflage scheme consisting of blue and gray colors. The
demonstration itself was more on the modest side but nevertheless very impressive. Just the crowd that
gathered around the static display of both Su-27 was a clear message. Those who already attended the
Spotterday on Friday were lucky to witness the arrival of both Su 27 which flanked a supporting Ilyushin
Il-76MD. This surely was a sight to be remembered. Unfortunately, the Il-76MD landed somewhere else.
The static display comprised types like a F-35A from Italy, three AW101 from Portugal, Denmark and UK, CV-22
Osprey from USAF, Mi-8MT from Poland, A400M from Airbus (will be delivered to UK), Mig-29UBS from Slovakia,
Typhoon FGR4 from UK, Tornado IDS from Germany, to name only a few.
The Belgian Air Force is in a phase of change. Types like the Sea King and C-130 Hercules are being replaced
or are going to be replaced soon and types that are replacing them like NH-90 or A400M could be seen at this event.
Also, the venerable F-16 is reaching the end of its useful life span and it is a suspenseful question which
aircraft will be selected to supersede them.
Air show events at Kleine-Brogel are usually well worth a visit and this year’s edition of "Belgian Air Force Days"
was no exception.