The Belgian Air Force has confirmed that 2023 was the final season of their F-16 solo display. It had been anticipated that 2024 would have been the final season for the F-16 solo display celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the type. The main reason for the withdrawal of the display is to maximise flying hours from Belgium’s shrinking F-16 fleet for training and operational requirements. 

A statement from the Belgian Air Force reads:

“After a magnificent season in 2023 we will not extend the “F-16 solo display” in 2024. We have indeed actively begun our transition to the F-35, our F-16s are gradually decommissioned when they reach the end of their potential and our recent contribution to the training of Ukrainian pilots mobilizes most of our resources. Priority is training our fighter pilots, performing our operational commitments and transitioning to the F-35A.

We are extremely grateful for the work done by the last F-16 Demonstration Pilot, Air Commander Steven “Vrieske” De Vries.

Over the past two seasons, he has been a great ambassador for the Air Force with his “Dream Viper”.
The F-16 Demo Team at Kleine Brogel had just started their build up for the 2024 season last week with the news broken to them just ahead of the weekend. With the confirmation today they posted the following on their social media pages.

“With a heavy heart, we bring you unexpected news: the F-16 Solo Display Team is reluctantly bidding farewell. Regrettably, we must announce the bittersweet conclusion of our incredible two-year journey.

In 2024 we intended to celebrate 50 years of F-16, 45 of F-16 in Belgium, and 30 of those with Cdt De Vries at the throttle and stick of the Viper.

It’s important to note that the decision for this farewell is beyond the control of the Dream Viper Team. While the ending may be sudden, the memories and appreciation for your support will endure. We thank you for being a part of our incredible flight, we regret not having the chance to say goodbye to our magnificent audience in person.

Please stay tuned for more information and details, which will follow in due time.

Thank you.
– The Dream Viper team.”

The withdrawal of the F-16 display leaves just the Red Devils team and the NH90 Caimen SAR Demo as Belgian Air Force ambassadors for the 2024 season. Flightline UK also understands the Red Devils will be flying just three SF260s in 2024 which  could well be their final season.