Transfer of First F-16s to Jordan
(Source: Belgian Armed Forces; issued Sept. 11, 2008)
A surplus Belgian air force F-16 taking off on its ferry flight to Jordan, which has bought 20 upgraded F-16s from Belgium and the Netherlands. (Photo © Eric Coeckelberghs)
At the end of August 2007 the Belgian authorities 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 (6 of which are former Dutch Air Force aircraft and 14 ex-Belgian Air Force).

After the necessary modifications Jordanian pilots are receiving their training in Belgium (OCU Squadron at Kleine Brogel air base) before returning with their mounts to their country.

The Royel Jordanian Air Force already operates 33 surplus USAF F-16A/B air defense fighters, part of which is to be upgraded to MLU standards, and 3 former Koninklijke Nederlandse Luchtmacht (Dutch air force) F-16BMs.

The Belgian aircraft involved are:

--F-16AM: serial numbers FA-58, -60, -61, -65, -66, -73, -74, -75, -76, -78, -88, and -90.
--F-16BM: serial numbers FB-04 (replaces FB-01 previously announced) and FB-08.

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 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 it remained at Kleine Brogel as everything went very smoothly.

The flight was via Aviano (Italy) and Souda (Crete).

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