The Belgian air force has taken delivery of the first of eight modular reconnaissance pods for use on its Lockheed Martin F-16As, to restore the capability lost by the phasing out in 1993 of Dassault Mirage 5BRs.

The first two pods are equipped for low altitude reconnaissance missions. The remaining eight will be configured for the medium altitude role.

SABCA acts as prime contractor for the programme and is responsible for integration of the pods, produced by Per Udsen of Denmark, in the eight aircraft .

In the low altitude mode, the pod has three Vinten 8010 cameras. In August 1999 medium altitude equipment will be delivered, including electro-optical Vinten 8040 cameras fitted with 450mm lens and Aries SVHS recorders.

Source: Flight International