When Belgian Falcons become (Royal) Jordanian Falcons

 

  At the end of August 2007 the Belgian authorities had finalised the sale of 14 F-16 (12 F-16AM and 2 F-16BM) fighters to Jordan for the total price of 70 million Euros. This sale is part of an agreement Jordan signed with Belgium and the Netherlands for the sale of 20 F-16 MLU fighters (8 of which former Dutch Air Force and 14 ex-Belgian Air Force). After the necessary modifications Jordan pilots are in progress of receiving their training in Belgium (OCU Squadron at KB) before returning with their mounts to their country. The RJAF already operates 33 surplus USAF F-16A/B ADFs part of which is to be upgraded to MLU standards and 3 former Koninklijke Nederlandse Luchtmacht F-16BM's

The Belgian Aircraft involved are: F-16AM:  FA-58, -60, -61, -65, -66, -73, -74, -75, -76, -78, -88, and -90. F-16BM: FB-01 and FB-08.

In July 2008 the Belgian Government agreed on the sale to the Royal Jordanian Air Force of two additional F-16BM twin-seaters: FB-04 and FB-02

On Tuesday September 9th 2008 five of these aircraft had their Belgian nationality markings removed and replaced by the Royal Jordanian Air Force markings and serials. Four of these aircraft are to fly to Jordan via Aviano airbase in Italy and are therefore equipped with three drop tanks giving the needed range to the aircraft. It was initially said that the aircraft were to be refuelled in the air by tankers but apparently in a last minute change this was abandoned.

 

The F-16AM formerly known as FA-58 has already changed its nationality to become "140" of the Royal Jordanian Air Force

 

"140" or should we call it for the last time FA-58 takes off for the ferry flight to Jordan on 10 September 2008.

Lockheed F-16AM FA-61 in progress of becoming "142" of the RJAF.

The result is a much more exotic looking aircraft. Notice that on that stage the Belgian roundels are still visible on the upper wings.

Up and away is FA-61/"142"

F-16BM FB-08 (in the picture it does every effort to look like FB-01 but it isn't...) in the progress of loosing its Belgian markings

FB-08/""139" on take off at KB on 10 September 2008.

FB-04/"138" leaving KB for the last time.

 

The one that stayed behind, spare aircraft FA-73/"145".

A rarely seen line up at Kleine Brogel's "Sierra" platform.

 

Aircraft modellers' wet dream ... the real "decals"...

For those spotters with a doubt and for future identification in Jordan, the "painters" left an "Easter Egg" on the aircraft in the form of a cut-away Belgian number within the black part of the Jordanian flag.

 

The aircraft which are involved in the flight on 10 September are former FA-58 ("140"), FA-61 ("142"), FA-73 ("145"), FB-04("138") and FB-08 ("139"). FA-73 was the spare aircraft in case of technical problems with one of the other aircraft but remained at Kleine Brogel as everything went very smootly.

 

  Text and pictures by

© Daniel Brackx (September 2008)

additional pics by Eric Coeckelberghs, Vincent Pirard & Johnny Vranken (10 Wing)

Last updated 28/12/11 13:41   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com