General Dynamics (SABCA) F-16AM Fighting Falcon (FA-57 / MN-L) from the Belgian Air Component at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
Special painted tail and 'invasion stripes' to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France (75 YEARS D-DAY - 350 Sqn)
The 349th and 350th Squadrons were founded on 1942, and 1941 within the Royal Air Force (RAF) with Belgian staff. On June 1944, these squadrons took part to D-Day operations in Normandy conducting patrols and escorts on Spitfires. In 2019, for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, two F-16s (FA-57 and FA-124) from Belgian Air Force were painted with the "invasion stripes" on fuselage and wings, and the images of the Spitfires flying high above the beaches of Normandy on the tail.
Today's Belgian Air Component operates a rather smaller force of F-16 Fighting Falcons than did the former Belgian Air Force, but these are now true multi-role aircraft as opposed to pure fighters thanks in no small part to the MLU (Mid-Life Upgrade) programme begun in the 1990s. Belgium ordered an original 116 F-16s as part of a huge deal for the type that also involved Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway; a follow-on order took the fleet to 160. Of those, around 50 aircraft now remain in active service with two wings. Belgian F-16s have taken part in coalition air operations over the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, as well as the Baltic Air Policing initiative.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.