Gloster (A.W.) Meteor NF.11
Twin engine radar equipped night-fighter
In July 1949 Belgium committed itself towards its allies to create, before the end of 1951, three night-fighter squadrons with 8 aircraft each. On May 25th, 1948 a flight equipped with De Havilland Mosquito NF30 was formed at Beauvechain, which became 10 Night-Fighter Squadron (squadron code ND). On July 1st, 1951 a second squadron was formed, 11 Night-Fighter Squadron (squadron code KT). The remaining Mosquito NF30s were split over the two squadrons until the arrival of a first batch of 12 Armstrong-Whitworth Meteor NF11 night-fighters (EN1-EN12). In the summer of 1952 the first Meteors were delivered at Beauvechain. Initially the aircraft were used by No 10 Squadron and wore the ND-code. However shortly afterwards all the Meteors were allocated to No 11 Squadron and the surviving Mosquitos were regrouped with No 10 Squadron. In 1953 the Mosquitos were grounded and the 10 Squadron-pilots flew with the 11 Squadron aircraft. In 1956 the Meteor NF11-fleet was boosted with the purchase of 12 secondhand Royal Air Force-aircraft (EN13-EN24), in order to bring both squadrons back to an operational level.
This second batch of aircraft was not completely identical to the first batch, which caused several technical problems and also caused a few accidents. In the meanwhile the search was on for a successor for the Meteor, which was considered an interim solution, and the aircraft chosen was the Avro CF100 Canuck Mk.5. This decision also was the end for the dedicated night-fighter squadrons in the Belgian Air Force, as the new aircraft was "all-weather" capable. In 1958 10 Squadron was deactivated and 11 Squadron, together with 349 and 350 Squadron, was equipped with the Canuck. Ten aircraft were sold to COGEA to be transformed for a target-towing role on behalf of the Belgian Ministry of Defence, but these plans were never put in place and after many years in storage at the airfield of Oostende-Raversijde they were scrapped.