Except for Volkel Air Base, only F-16 fighters are stationed at Leeuwarden Air Base. They are intended for air defense and the provision of air support. Since 2017, the Netherlands and Belgium alternately monitor each other’s airspace and that of Luxembourg. Two F-16 fighter planes are constantly ready for this purpose, which can take off at any time in the event of a threat.
The Netherlands received its first F-16 in the late 1970s. The devices were ultramodern at the time, but have been outdated for a while. The Air Force replaces them with F-35s, also known as Joint Strike Fighter. The last F-16s are expected to remain operational until 2024.
Queen Máxima flew in 2014 also once in an F-16 from Volkel Air Base.