Check Out The Photographs Of This Belgian F-16 Sporting A Pretty Unusual, Special “Rusty” Tiger Tail

The special colored BAF FA-116 during its maiden flight. (Image credit: Belgian Air Force/31 Tiger Sqn)

The aircraft will take part in NATO Tiger Meet 2019 at Mont-de-Marsan, France, next month.

NATO Tiger Meet (NTM) is a multinational mid-size exercise that gathers squadrons sporting Tiger (or feline) emblems, most of those attend the two-week drills, with aircraft of all types sporting brand new, flamboyant tiger color schemes. If you browse through our archive, you’ll find many articles on NTM special-colored jets and helicopters.

On Apr. 16, 2019, the 31 Sqn of the Belgian Air Force, based at Kleine-Brogel, rolled out on an F-16AM, the example tail number FA-116, with the livery prepared for this year’s NTM, that will be held in late May at BA 118 Mont-de-Marsan, France.

The aircraft tail was painted with a large tiger head on its right hand side and a Top Gun-inspired “31 Tigers” emblem on the left hand side. However, what makes the paint job really cool is that the artwork was made so that both the tail and the ventral fins (with the right showing a “31 Tigers” emblem too) seem to be rust-covered.

Another photograph showing the left hand side of the special tail with the Top Gun-style “31 Tigers” emblem (Image credit: Belgian Air Force/31 Tiger Sqn)

The aircraft made its maiden flight in the new color scheme on the very same day, accompanied by another F-16 that acted as a camera ship. The images that you can find in this post were taken from that Viper.

31 “Tigers”  Squadron is one of the five F-16 Squadrons of the Belgian Air Component. Flying the F-16 MLU, “three one” is a Multirole squadron able to perform a wide array of operational missions. The squadron is part of NATO’s High Readiness Forces and “is permanently ready to fulfill these tasks in order to protect Belgian national airspace and territory, to support its NATO allies and to perform Peace Support missions under a United Nations mandate.”

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.