The Belgian army currently operates 11 IAI-made B-Hunter UAVs, which were acquired in 1998 and became operational in 2004 under the 80 UAV Squadron. The drones, which were stationed at the German border in 2010, are expected to be phased out between 2021 and 2030. Now, Belgium is considering two alternatives as their replacement: IAI's Heron TP and the MQ-9 Reaper manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).
According to the blog "france-revolution-investigative-reporter," Belgium is looking to buy four UAVs for €226 million.
In Belgium, as in Germany, there is a lively discussion about the ability to arm the new UAVs. In that sense, it should be reminded that Israeli-made UAVs are exported for intelligence gathering missions and do not include armaments. The American Reaper, however, is also sold for assault purposes. At this stage, the Belgians, at least in official statements, are not interested in armed drones, but in UAVs that could be armed if necessary.
IAI did not comment on this issue.