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Belgium's quest to replace their F-16 fleet

sferrin

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Archibald said:
Wow, that's very ugly. Belgium should do like New Zealand did in 2002 and screw his fast jet fleet once and for all.

Yeah, best to let everyone else defend you. Defending oneself is so barbaric.
 

Michel Van

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Archibald said:
Wow, that's very ugly. Belgium should do like New Zealand did in 2002 and screw his fast jet fleet once and for all.

Next escalation level: Belgium Generals had in Drone purchase program, ehh left some Information aside...
The Belgium Army want to replace there B-Hunters Drone (build in Israel) and had three contender one US and two from Israel
and US contract won, the reason the Belgium Military gave for that was simple:
Israel is not EU or NATO partner and were some Issues with Israels Drones manufactures and secret service Mossad.
And Belgium Military wanted a compatible Model what is use by Netherland, Spain, France, Italy

In a currently News interview minister of defense Vandeput (N-VA) explain that Drone purchase program is aright
and that also technical problems play in role to reject the two Israelis offers

And what number we talking here ? TWO obsolete Drones to be replaced by TWO Drones

In Mean time the opposition SP.A party does hard time in Parlament as Flemish Nationalist N-VA strikes back.

Madness ?, THIS... IS... BELGIUM ! ! !

source
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/03/23/drones-leger-manipulatie/

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/03/23/de-roover---klokkenluider-had-minister-moeten-informeren-in-plaa/
 

BAROBA

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The drone story is just blown out of proportions, IMO.
As I understand it, the 'new' drones are just "temporary" purchases and will soonish be replaced by European designed drones. ( lend-lease?)
The espionage concern is also a bit overstated, but could be real. Those Isreali's are of course a lot smarter then us "petit Belges".

The F-16 story is just a way to get the Rafale back on the table, but that will never happen.
The F-35 was from even before the start the choice we had to made ( Compatibility with the Netherlands and other European countries )
So this is all another show to fill airwaves and tv-shows.
 

Michel Van

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BAROBA said:
The drone story is just blown out of proportions, IMO.

Absolutely right, BAROBA

the Two B-Hunters Drone Belgium use are modified IAI RQ-5 Hunter , who are retired since 2015
in Other words Belgium use obsolete hardware...

They should be replaced by two General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper

were the Green Parties (flemish and Walloon) are opposed to it, because it can carry also weapons.
 

Michel Van

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And it became very quite for moment about F-16 and Drones in Belgium Politic

not for Cartoonist and comedians...

id920613-947b5208-2d3d-11e8-b28a-f929ce4f8559-original.jpg

translation:
And this study proof that our "Henri Farman-Jero" can still fly for next six years!
 

Hood

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What are you moaning about, a Farman is the ideal choice; its built from non-radar reflecting materials, easily repairable, bullets will pass through those canvas wings, exceptionally cheap to build, can be maintained by an average motor mechanic, you can use up any stocks of spare bicycle wheels and it has unrestricted 360 view for a camera. Sounds like a perfect match to me!
 

TomcatViP

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And it come free with two beautifully crafted coffin and a pair of golden spoon. Enjoy!
 

Archibald

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Hood said:
What are you moaning about, a Farman is the ideal choice; its built from non-radar reflecting materials, easily repairable, bullets will pass through those canvas wings, exceptionally cheap to build, can be maintained by an average motor mechanic, you can use up any stocks of spare bicycle wheels and it has unrestricted 360 view for a camera. Sounds like a perfect match to me!

Hilarious. Well, he has even a fighting chance again the F-35: since the F-35 gun is currently not working because of the trap to mask it, and the software to fire it, then the Farman can probably fly slow enough the F-35 can't out turn it, and a missile lock might be difficult (either sidewinder - too small IR signature - or an AMRAAM - non-radar reflecting material, as said above)
 

gTg

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Archibald said:
Hood said:
What are you moaning about, a Farman is the ideal choice; its built from non-radar reflecting materials, easily repairable, bullets will pass through those canvas wings, exceptionally cheap to build, can be maintained by an average motor mechanic, you can use up any stocks of spare bicycle wheels and it has unrestricted 360 view for a camera. Sounds like a perfect match to me!

Hilarious. Well, he has even a fighting chance again the F-35: since the F-35 gun is currently not working because of the trap to mask it, and the software to fire it, then the Farman can probably fly slow enough the F-35 can't out turn it, and a missile lock might be difficult (either sidewinder - too small IR signature - or an AMRAAM - non-radar reflecting material, as said above)

Add carrying the B-61 in a back pack, and it has a fancy stealth weapons pod ;)
 

SpudmanWP

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Archibald said:
since the F-35 gun is currently not working
You are aware that the gun issue has been resolved and is part of the Block 3F jets rolling off the line today, right?
 

Archibald

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You are ware that my post was mostly half-joking ? ::) And that the thread has somewhat devolved into non-seriousness for quite some time ?
 

TomcatViP

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tomorrow we should have the result of the inquiry for tge Trojan Memo (F-16 SLEP)
 

Michel Van

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The first meeting of inquiry are finished

The Military stand united behind there Minister of Defence Vandeput

"The audit does indeed say that the DGMR (The General Directorate Material Resources responsible for the material resources of defense, ed.)
Was not obliged to forward the information to the minister." Why?
"Because the DGMR itself has estimated that the information was not relevant, it only assumes a confidence in the DGMR's opinion. "

Sadly the meeting was overshadow
by the ego-trip of MP, Wouter De Vriendt (Flemish Greens) who arrogant accused, Vandeput of cover up.
And casual screaming of MP, Dirk Van der Maelen (Flemish Socialist )
 

TomcatViP

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Well, it never end flat in the low lands:

Veracity of Trojan memo in doubt:.

[Il y a] neuf fautes dans ces mails. Il est question d’un « F16-Block 20 ». Or c’est une terminologie qu’un officier de l’armée, qui aurait envoyé le courriel, n’aurait pas utilisée. De plus, les abréviations pour les grades militaires mentionnées ne sont pas habituelles à l’armée. Dans le deuxième mail, qui date de septembre 2017, il est indiqué que le lieutenant-colonel Decrop travaille pour le compte du colonel Harold Van Pee, ce qui n’est pas juste non plus.

-------------
[There is] nine faults in these mails. There is talk of an "F16-Block 20". But it is a terminology that an army officer, who would have sent the email, would not have used. In addition, abbreviations for military ranks mentioned are not common to the military. In the second e-mail, which dates from September 2017, it is stated that Lieutenant-Colonel Decrop works for Colonel Harold Van Pee, which is not correct either

And:
Le ministre d[de la Défense] a dit commencer à s’inquiéter sérieusement « de la manière dont ils (ndlr: le sp.a) se font utiliser pour je ne sais qui et pour quel agenda ».

-------------
The MoD said he began to worry seriously "how they (sp.a) are used; by whom or for what I do not know"

Source:
MetroTime.be:
https://fr.metrotime.be/2018/06/02/news/remplacement-des-f-16-gros-doutes-sur-les-preuves-de-crombez/
https://fr.metrotime.be/2018/05/30/news/remplacement-des-f-16-le-sp-a-se-fait-manipuler/
 

Dreamfighter

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I´ve been reading in the press the latest developments.
About the remark concerning the fake or not "block 20" designation used in one of those (fake or not) emails;

During F-16A/B production in the 1980s, the last block-designations used were "15" and "15 OCU" (Operational Capability Upgrade). The last batch of F-16s delivered to Belgium - late 1980s to early 1990s - were mostly "block 15 & 15 OCU"s.

Designation "block 20" was skipped and production moved on to designation "block 25", the first F-16C/Ds.
Why was the use of "block 20" skipped when production went from F-16A/B to F-16C/D?

In the early 1990s, Taiwan wanted F-16s with the lastest capabilities. What they eventually got were F-16C/D airframes but with smaller F-16A/B vertical tails and capabilities (almost) indentical to then in-progress european F-16A/B MLU (Mid-Life Upgrade) program.
So what Taiwan got were new aircraft but built to "F-16A/B block 15OCU MLU" configuration, and these were given the previously skipped F-16A/B "block 20" designation.

I know F-16.net and on some occasions other sites and journalists/enthusiasts/photographers use the term "F-16 block 20 MLU" for the upgraded european F-16s, but I´ve heard that is not correct or at least not an official designation, and that "block 20" is only applicable for the Taiwanese F-16s.
That is also one of the remarks raised as why the "leaked" emails are probably fake.

Does somebody here know what the correct block-designation used by the military (and possibly LockMart) is for European MLU F-16s?
There is no real difference with the "block 20s" used by Taiwan, they´re just a bit older airframes. (I´ve read Taiwanese F-16s have radar APG-66(V)3 instead of APG-66(V)2A for the european MLUs, not sure if that is a meaningful difference).
 

TomcatViP

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You can see the correct block denomination in this LM report that was part of the controversy:

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=29192.0;attach=596834
 

Dreamfighter

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In that april 2017 document you linked, Lockheed calls every F-16A/B in Belgian service a "block 15".
Is that always the case with regard to the european F-16A/Bs, or could it be because of the subject discussed in that document is with regard to the airframe (lifespan) and not the capabilities?

I assume most aircraft still in service with the BAF are "Block 15OCU"s, the youngest ones which made up the larger fraction of the batch-2 aircraft delivered between 1988 and 1991? Belgium got at least 180 F-16s in total and now operates only a few more then 50.
The "block 15OCU" production differs from the "standard" block 15 in having some structural strengthening, the more reliable F100-PW-220 engine, the F-16C/D HUD, and software /radar/mission computer updates etc.
Later the MLU-program brought (selected) block 15 and block 15OCU aircraft up to a capability-standard indentical to the the newly being manufactured aircraft for Taiwan, which got production block-designation 20.

Do the (belgian, dutch, danish, norwegian, portugese, ...) military also still call all their aircraft just "F-16 block 15"? If yes, how do they make the difference with the somewhat different OCUs, and more importantly with the MLU-upgraded ones?
I know the MLU-upgraded ones are (were?) often called F-16AM/BM, but I´m not sure if that is an official military term and I know it is a designation not recognised by LMTAS (Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems).
 

TomcatViP

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Please, have a look here on F-16.net:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article2.html


Included is a chart with all Belgian Blocks.

I woul like to emphasize the pitiful professionalism of those that allegedly produced those fake doc. It should give a good idea of the culprits IMOH(E)O.
 

Dreamfighter

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TomcatViP said:
Please, have a look here on F-16.net:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article2.html


Included is a chart with all Belgian Blocks.

I woul like to emphasize the pitiful professionalism of those that allegedly produced those fake doc. It should give a good idea of the culprits IMOH(E)O.

I know f-16.net and the info there but I would like to find other sources.

The same site says F-16A/Bs which underwent the MLU program (and so the belgian F-16s still in service) are now designated "block 20" like the Taiwanese F-16A/Bs;
"Block 20
The 150 F-16A/B Block 15OCU's for Taiwan are built to MLU standards and are designated Block 20.The Block 20 designation was reserved in the 1980's. It was later assigned to the Taiwanese aircraft and to the MLU program initiated to bring the European F-16s to an enhanced level, comparable with the block 50 F-16s of the USAF.
"

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article3.html

Also on several other pages, the f-16.net website refers to the european MLU F-16s as being "F-16 block 20 MLU".
For example here;
http://www.f-16.net/f-16-news-article4815.html

Over the weekend, some belgian newspapers referred to the "block 20" usage on f-16.net, they called it wrong information coming from an f-16 fan(atics)-website.
 

Dreamfighter

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TomcatViP said:
Please, have a look here on F-16.net:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_users_article2.html


Included is a chart with all Belgian Blocks.

I woul like to emphasize the pitiful professionalism of those that allegedly produced those fake doc. It should give a good idea of the culprits IMOH(E)O.

I know f-16.net and the info there but I would like to find other sources.

The same site says F-16A/Bs which underwent the MLU program (and so the belgian F-16s still in service) are now designated "block 20" like the Taiwanese F-16A/Bs;
"Block 20
The 150 F-16A/B Block 15OCU's for Taiwan are built to MLU standards and are designated Block 20.The Block 20 designation was reserved in the 1980's. It was later assigned to the Taiwanese aircraft and to the MLU program initiated to bring the European F-16s to an enhanced level, comparable with the block 50 F-16s of the USAF.
"

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article3.html

Also on several other pages, the f-16.net website refers to the european MLU F-16s as being "F-16 block 20 MLU".
For example here;
http://www.f-16.net/f-16-news-article4815.html

Over the weekend, some belgian newspapers referred to the "block 20" usage on f-16.net, they called it wrong information coming from an f-16 fan(atics)-website.


The whole block-designation thing makes me wonder;
When f.e. the USAF upgrades a block 10 F-22 to block 20 or 30 capabilities, does it officially become a block 20 or 30 aircraft, or does it officially remain a block 10 aircraft?
 

TomcatViP

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The best will be to file a request to LM. But honestly, given the doc That I just linked (PDF / F-16 SLEP program) I am not sure that you would be able to find much discrepancies.

Best,

Tom
 

Michel Van

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Last week the Opposition party SP.A (socialist Flemish) leader John Crombez
presented a E-mail in Parlament and demanded that Minister of Defence Vanderput to resign immediate
after some fact checking this E-mail is unmask as total fake...


TomcatViP said:
Well, it never end flat in the low lands:

Veracity of Trojan memo in doubt:.

[Il y a] neuf fautes dans ces mails. Il est question d’un « F16-Block 20 ». Or c’est une terminologie qu’un officier de l’armée, qui aurait envoyé le courriel, n’aurait pas utilisée. De plus, les abréviations pour les grades militaires mentionnées ne sont pas habituelles à l’armée. Dans le deuxième mail, qui date de septembre 2017, il est indiqué que le lieutenant-colonel Decrop travaille pour le compte du colonel Harold Van Pee, ce qui n’est pas juste non plus.

-------------
[There is] nine faults in these mails. There is talk of an "F16-Block 20". But it is a terminology that an army officer, who would have sent the email, would not have used. In addition, abbreviations for military ranks mentioned are not common to the military. In the second e-mail, which dates from September 2017, it is stated that Lieutenant-Colonel Decrop works for Colonel Harold Van Pee, which is not correct either

And:
Le ministre d[de la Défense] a dit commencer à s’inquiéter sérieusement « de la manière dont ils (ndlr: le sp.a) se font utiliser pour je ne sais qui et pour quel agenda ».

-------------
The MoD said he began to worry seriously "how they (sp.a) are used; by whom or for what I do not know"

Source:
MetroTime.be:
https://fr.metrotime.be/2018/06/02/news/remplacement-des-f-16-gros-doutes-sur-les-preuves-de-crombez/
https://fr.metrotime.be/2018/05/30/news/remplacement-des-f-16-le-sp-a-se-fait-manipuler/
 

Dreamfighter

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I´ve found a US document from 2003, that says an F-16A/B upgraded to MLU-standard becomes a "block 20" aircraft;

https://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/disp_pdf.cfm?DACH_RECNO=326

On the last page (12), there is this sentence: "A Block 10 or 15 F-16 upgraded with the MLU became a Block 20 aircraft."


The company behind this document is Forecast International;

"Forecast International Inc. (FI) is a privately owned business headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut, in the United States. The company is a premier provider of market intelligence forecasting, proprietary research and consulting services for the worldwide Aerospace, Defense, Electronics and Power Systems industries."
https://www.forecastinternational.com/about.cfm
 

Michel Van

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Latest News in Case

The decision to buy the Aircraft are Delay to October this year
the Federal Government of Michel will clarification on this points

- Can the F-16 lifetime be prolonged for six years?
- Return of Dassault Offer for Rafale in exchange for Belgium partnership in R&D and building the New France-German combat aircraft.

Later is push by Walloons Opposition for two reason: give the SABCA[1] new jobs and the obligatory bribe to the Socialist[2] party by Dassault.


[1] SABAC = Société Anonyme Belge de Construction Aéronautique.
http://www.belgian-wings.be/Webpages/Navigator/Belgian_Aviation_History/Industry/sabca.htm

[2] That's Walloon Socialist of SP, the Fake Mails case is provoke by Flemish Socialist Sp.A
 

TomcatViP

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Latest News in Case

The decision to buy the Aircraft are Delay to October this year
the Federal Government of Michel will clarification on this points

- Can the F-16 lifetime be prolonged for six years?
- Return of Dassault Offer for Rafale in exchange for Belgium partnership in R&D and building the New France-German combat aircraft.

Later is push by Walloons Opposition for two reason: give the SABCA[1] new jobs and the obligatory bribe to the Socialist[2] party by Dassault.


[1] SABAC = Société Anonyme Belge de Construction Aéronautique.
http://www.belgian-wings.be/Webpages/Navigator/Belgian_Aviation_History/Industry/sabca.htm

[2] That's Walloon Socialist of SP, the Fake Mails case is provoke by Flemish Socialist Sp.A

Welcome into the Soviet EUnion! (pronounce "onion")*


*or "oignon" à la french
 

Michel Van

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Next escalation level, this time NATO

Priminister Michel visit the New NATO HQ in Brussels for Meeting with General-Secretary Stoltenberg
during this Michel was confronted by Stoltenberg, that Belgium Government has to do fast decision on Successor for F-16.

in following press meeting, both made there standpoint clear

Stoltenberg:

What is for NATO is important, that Belgium Goverment buy new modern efficient Combat Aircraft, who are compatible to NATO specification and Systems
But is not for NATO to tell which specific manufactor or with model to buy
We [NATO] want to see a decision is made so fast as possible this year


Michel:
we looking into new offer by Dassault for Rafale, because Dassault offer also option for Belgium Join-venture in New German-French combat aircraft.

source:
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/06/22/navo-herhaalt-graag-snelle-beslissing-over-f-16/
 

Dreamfighter

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Bart De Wever, leader of the Flemish (rightwing separatistic) N-VA party which has a firm position in both Flemish Regional & Belgian Federal governments, and who is Major of Antwerp and often considered as "the true belgian prime minister", countered the official belgian prime minister Michel today by saying the Rafale is not an option at all. He called the french Rafale "an aircraft that can´t do shit", and added that European aerospace (so not just French) is technologically lacking far behind the US, implying that a fighter-purchase from the US would be of great technological benefit for belgian industry.
So that can be interpreted as a clear (political) statement in favour of the F-35.

https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/06/24/de-wever-gaat-in-tegen-premier-michel-wat-mij-betreft-is-de-ra/
 

TomcatViP

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Seems that someone had the idea to buy the cheaper 35 and use the money saved to participate in the SCAF Franco-German project :D

les Français, qui se sont liés à l’offre de Dassault, ne l’entendent pas de la sorte. « Si l’idée a émergé d’acheter le F-35 et de participer simultanément au SCAF, alors je dois indiquer qu’il y a un malentendu », a affirmé l’ambassadrice française, comme le relaie De Tijd.
-------------
The Frenches, who are supporting the Dassault offer, aren't pleased with this idea."If someone had in mind to buy the F-35 and then participate simultaneously to the SCAF, then I must say that there are some missunderstanding" said the Fr ambassador in Brussels as quoted by the Tijd

That's official, Belgium is a dominium (at least their fiscal planning)!

Source:
Metrotime.be: https://fr.metrotime.be/2018/07/19/actualite/la-france-montre-les-dents-face-au-f-35/
 

Michel Van

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This gonna be Napalm on Political fire about the F-16 :eek:

The Flemish not gonna like this at all that French, ehh let say "dictate" what the Belgians have to buy!
special with backstory of Dassault briberies to Belgians Politicians
the Walloon and French reaction to that will be...

View: https://youtu.be/8JP6fQGc5IQ
 
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Mike Pryce

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30 years on, plus ça change...

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1988/1988%20-%201588.PDF
 

Archibald

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LMAO, De Funès and Bernard Blier at their best. Not as good as this, however. "Allo docteur.. euh, Baron ?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWLa-Lrt78Q
 

Michel Van

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Archibald said:
LMAO, De Funès and Bernard Blier at their best. Not as good as this, however. "Allo docteur.. euh, Baron ?"

I have the strange Impression that this De Funès reaction
Match perfectly the Dassault Managers reaction about belgium politic ;D
 

_Del_

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Harrier said:
30 years on, plus ça change...

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1988/1988%20-%201588.PDF

Basically the same terms. "You don't have to buy any after investing in the program, but you also can't buy anything else."I

Also interesting that they saw the global demand for 800-1200 Rafales (at least while pitching the program to investors, I note cynically and perhaps unfairly).
 

Archibald

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Harrier said:
30 years on, plus ça change...

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFArchive/1988/1988%20-%201588.PDF

You mean the Rafale or the entire page ?
Because, 30 years later...
- France still trying to blackmail Belgium to buy Rafales
But,
ALSO...
- Airbus finally gots its tanker out of an airliner (not the A300 but the A330)
- Boeing finally got a maritime surveillance aircraft out of an airliner (not the 757 but the 737)
- Pakistan still flying its antiquated, RAAF Mirage III
;D

Kudos to you, you really picked Flight International "back to the future" page, Marty !
 

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Someone just figured it out that the 14th of October, the day a final decision was scheduled to be released was also a day of National election...
The decision might then be postponed until May 2019.

L’agenda politique est chargé : la semaine prochaine, le Premier ministre est attendu au Parlement pour sa déclaration de rentrée. Il doit ensuite se rendre en Arménie pour le sommet de la francophonie et puis le 14 octobre, c’est aussi la date des élections communales et provinciales. Le gouvernement n’entend pas non plus faire un tel choix dans la précipitation. Il a donc été décidé de voir avec les Etats-Unis si la date butoir du 14 octobre est ferme ou si elle peut être modifiée.
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The political agenda is fully booked: next week, the Prime Minister is expected to appear in front of the Parliament for his opening declaration. He must then go to Armenia for the summit of the Francophonie and then October 14 is also the date of the communal and provincial elections. The government also does not intend to make such a choice in a hurry. It has therefore been decided to consult with the United States whether the deadline of 14 October is firm or whether it can be modified.

Hearing this, You have to try hard to believe that Belgium is not exclusively the land of tinny little blue creatures and a mean cat.

As of a clue for the impeding decision, the RTBF (Belgian TV station) implies that the F-35 is openly considered as the winner. And DefenseNews reports today that US FMS request includes:

Belgium’s request for F-35s ($6.53 billion)


Source:
RTBF.be : https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_remplacement-des-f-16-le-gouvernement-presse-par-les-delais?id=10037316
DefenseNews.com : https://www.defensenews.com/global/2018/10/05/state-department-cleared-70-billion-in-foreign-military-sales-requests-for-fy18/
 

gTg

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What about the US "deadline" of 14/10/18? Do we have to ask for permission of the US when to announce the outcome of the never ending story?
Will Belgium not get any f-35 if we do not order before 14/10???

In my eyes 14/10 is perfect for announcement. All the country will be preoccupied with election results, so a great moment to come out with the news.
It's is not as if the decision about what airplane to buy would be made a couple of days before the announcement and the decision takers would be absorbed by election stuff.

Somehow these news make no sense to me...
 

TomcatViP

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gTg said:
What about the US "deadline" of 14/10/18? Do we have to ask for permission of the US when to announce the outcome of the never ending story?

Today Belgian press reports that:
- The US offer has been extended till the end of the month
- The Belgian gov has been fully briefed by the team of experts in charge of reviewing both offers (LM and Eurofighter)
- Due to the lack of data, the French offer, based essentially on industrial perspectives, was not reviewed by the team

Source (in Fr):
https://www.levif.be/actualite/belgique/f16-le-gouvernement-desormais-en-position-de-choisir-le-futur-avion-de-combat/article-normal-1042389.html
 

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