First Benelux Air Policing Scramble

by Nicholas Fiorenza
Mar 08, 2017

Two Belgian air force F-16s intercepted a Hungarian civil aircraft which did not react to air traffic control March 7. The aircraft, with three people on board, was detected over German airspace and crossed the southeastern Netherlands.​

The Belgian fighters were scrambled from Florennes air base in southern Belgium and intercepted the Hungarian aircraft at around 7:30, escorting it until UK Royal Air Force Eurofighters took over until it landed in Birmingham.

Until the end of last year, the scramble would have occurred from a Dutch air base, but since 1 January, Belgium and the Netherlands have been taking turns policing each other's airspace, as well as that of Luxembourg, under an arrangement agreed by the three nations, known collectively as the Benelux, in March 2015.

Two Belgian F-16s are currently on quick action alert until May 10, when they will be relieved by two Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s.

Belgian Defense has posted a video of the intercept.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

on Mar 8, 2017

Is there any means of charging such clowns for the expenses they negligently incur?

NATO nations are paying enough with Putin's game of Baltic Sea Bingo without having to play Guess Who with three inert clods from Hungary.

I must amend and soften my comment. Simon Hradecky on his excellent Aviation Herald site has as usual more facts less sensationally presented than some other sources. I should have checked Aviation Herald earlier.

The pertinent info is that "Belgian Defense reported that following the intercept it was not possible to reach the crew via radio, however, eye contact was established and everything appeared normal in the cockpit, a technical problem prevented communication via radio."

Simon also presents a video of the intercept provided by Belgian Defense.

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