Belgian Air Force decommissioned old Israel-built B-Hunter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) it bought two decades ago.
“B-Hunter UAV is now officially retired from service. The Air Force is now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new capacity MQ-9B,” the service announced on its official Twitter handle on August 31.
In 1998, the Belgian Air Component purchased three B-Hunter UAV-systems, each consisting of six aircraft and two ground control stations. The drones were operational from 2004 in 80 UAV Squadron. Thirteen 13 aircraft were in service until recently.
Two weeks ago, General Atomics was awarded $189 million Belgium MQ-9B SkyGuardian procurement. This contract provides for four MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles, two Certifiable Ground Control Stations, spares and support equipment. It covers design, development, integration and production of the RPAS with its EO/IR video and SAR/GMTI surveillance payloads. The first delivery is scheduled for 2023.