Belgian vehicles in War Thunder

Hi everyone!

Now as a foreword, some of you may know me and see me as a “Benelux tree fanboy”, but let’s put this idea aside as i just want to talk about Belgian vehicles - you may regard them as belonging in a French subtree, an International or West Europe tree or even a few premiums and event vehicles here and there, that’s fine.

War Thunder is an ever-expanding game, and that involves new nations being added from a one-off event vehicle to entire tech trees.
Of course, small nations like Belgium don’t have the industrial capacity of the United States, nor does it have the army size of the USSR, and i wouldn’t expect Belgium to be a priority compared to those huge nations.

However i can’t help but notice that after about 11 years of War Thunder, we still haven’t seen a single Belgian vehicle being added even in an event, nor have we even seen one datamined in the game files. I haven’t even seen a fake leak list with anything Belgian in it.
No, all the representation that Belgium gets is limited to two turrets and a machine gun most people will see as Swedish, and a few other LMGs that nobody really cares about.

This wouldn’t be all that shocking to me had we not recently seen an event vehicle from Lithuania, an even more minor nation. Or for example, vehicles from Ireland, Jordan, New Zealand, Cuba, etc…
And yeah, seeing Lithuania being represented before Belgium juuust doesn’t quite sit right with me.

Now with allat said, i’m not making this post to complain about new nations being added before some arguably better ones (not only Belgium) but to show you some Belgian stuff that i think would be interesting to see in-game - once again, not necessarily in a Benelux tree - and to give our vehicles some visibility :)

Now here’s a non-exhaustive list of some cool Belgian stuff:

WW2

Ground

Carden-Loyd Mk VI
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A very early and very small tank destroyer armed with a quick firing 47 mm cannon, similar to those on French tanks.

T.13 B1/B2
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An early tank destroyer with a 47 mm cannon firing to the rear, the turret can be traversed to the front but if the armor plates are up, the cannon will have to significantly elevate.

T.13 B3

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A very mobile tank destroyer, still armed with the quick firing 47 mm gun, and the turret can now fire towards the front without any issues.

T.15
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A quick light tank armed with a 13.2 mm HMG, quite similar in playstyle to the M2A2 but without the other turret in the way.

FN T3 Tricar
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A fun and fast bike with a big machine gun strapped to it. Stukas beware!

Air

Fairey Fox

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This fighter comes in a lot of variants, from the slow Fox II to the Fox VII with 6 (!) FN-Browning machine guns, this was the Belgian air force main fighter at the time.

Fairey Féroce

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This one could be added to the British tree as well but i’ll mention it because i find it to be very pretty. It’s a modern biplane prototype that is quick and armed with a 20 mm Oerlikon and 4 machine guns.

SABCA S.47
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Also known as the Caproni Ca.335, it’s a fighter-ground attack plane armed with a 20 mm Hispano and 2 FN machine guns, carrying 2x 50 kg and 10x 10 kg bombs.

LACAB GR.8

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An ugly “bomber/reconnaissance/escort fighter” prototype with a defensive armament of either 6 machine guns or 4 machine guns and a cannon. Payload was 600 to 800 kg of bobs.

Stampe-Vertongen SV-10

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Built to the same requirements as the GR.8, this one is just a bit worse with 600 kg of bombs and a slightly worse defensive armament.

Renard R.36
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Fighter prototype with a max speed of 505 km/h, armament of 4 FN-Browning machine guns and 1 20 mm Hispano, it is similar to a D.520 but its very low wing loading of 120 kg/m2 would give it a maneuverability more akin to a Ki-43!

Renard R.37
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Re-engined R.36 with a Gnome-Rhône radial engine giving it an extra 20 kph, it loses the nose-mounted cannons and replaces the 4 light machine guns with 2 excellent 13.2 mm FN-Browning HMGs.

Renard R.38
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Another R.36 variant, this one with a wonderful Merlin engine and 4 13.2 mm machine guns.
Test pilot Burniat described flight performance as between the Hurricane and the Spitfire.

Cold War

Ground

CATI 90

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This flat tiny tank destroyer was made a few years after the end of WW2 to give the Belgian army a cheap and effective way to deal with Soviet armor. It fires a HEAT shell penetrating 350 mm of armor and is barely armored.

FN-4RM/62F ABC
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This was made for the Gendarmerie as a paramilitary vehicle, armed with the same cannon as on the CATI but with two FN machine guns, it is also quite quick, having a top speed of 110 km/h.

FN-4RM/62F AB.MI.MO

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Despite having a name that Elon Musk probably thought about for his kid, it’s practically the same vehicle as the one before except it has a 60 mm mortar firing HEAT shells penetrating 200 mm of armor.

SIBMAS
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Now this wheeled FSV was developed in Belgium from the same prototype as the Ratel, hence the striking similarity. It is available with a myriad of different turrets, including Cockerill 25 or 90 mm turrets, a Scorpion 90 turret, a Lynx 90 turret or a Serval 60/20 turret, or an H.20 turret with a radar, among others.

JPK-90

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Belgium was the only other user of the JPz 4-5, and the Belgian model has a laser rangefinder, a different powerpack taken from the Marder and other minor changes here and there. An interesting improvement over the original German vehicle.

M113 CM 90
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This M113A2 has been fitted with a Cockerill CM 90 turret, giving it access to either a Mk.3 or Mk.3MA1 90 mm cannon. The former fires HEAT shells penetrating up to 330 mm of armor and the latter has access to an APFSDS that pens 100 mm at 1000 m and 60°. A laser rangefinder is available but optional.

M113 LCTS 90
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That one has an even better turret on top of it, armed with a Cockerill Mk 8 cannon firing APFSDS that pens 150 mm at 2000 m and 60°, has thermals, a LRF and is stabilised - it even has a laser warning system!
Truly a modern… box

M41 LCTS 90
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This Belgian M41 has an early LCTS 90 turret, and as such doesn’t have access to a stabiliser or a LWS. However the hull is better than an M113 hull as it is more mobile and smaller. Still a dangerous foe to face!

Cobra IFV 90/46 LWGS
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The Cobra was an IFV project from the 80s that used an electrical transmission to make the vehicles as light and nimble as possible. This resulted in an extremely modern amphibious vehicle with a top speed of 80 kph both forwards and in reverse. Armor is non-existent, but this one has an interesting turret with a 90 mm cannon firing APFSDS (~330 mm of pen at point blank) but doesn’t have any features such as a stabiliser or thermal sights.

Cobra IFV 204GK
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Once again on the same Cobra IFV chassis, a 204GK turret with a deadly 20 mm cannon with access to HE and AP, perfect for an SPAA or cancer flanker role.

Cobra IFV LAU97
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This Cobra has an MLRS strapped on top of it, with 40 FZ49 70 mm HEAT rockets with a respectable 350 mm of pen and a max speed of 700 m/s!

Cobra 25
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Now this isn’t the same Cobra IFV chassis as the ones we talked about earlier, as only the powerpack and tracks were retained for this final AFV version. The Cobra 25 has a Cockerill C25 turret, allowing the vehicle to perform well in light support or SPAA roles.

Cobra 90
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Probably one of the more famous vehicles to come out of Belgium, the Cobra 90 is an excellent light tank providing you with excellent mobility, a deadly APFSDS shell, a laser rangefinder and thermal sights and… almost no armor.

Leopard 1

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While not extensively modified in any way, i had to include the Leopard as it was Belgium’s MBT during most of its post-war years, and while the first Leopard was indeed copy paste, later variants brought it up to 1A5 standards and gave it access to the M1060 series shells from MECAR, giving it a major boost in firepower. The one in the picture is a prototype fitted with MEXAS armor.

BDX APC
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This one has a bit of a confusing history, but basically, it’s an Irish design produced and used in Belgium, and this one has a MILAN turret on top of it.

Air

This section is unfortunately not as interesting, but there are still some interesting things to note

CF-100 Mk 5
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While not really modified by Belgium, it’s still a unique vehicle worth mentioning as it was only ever used by Canada and Belgium. Not surprising, since the Mk 5 was only armed with 58 Mighty Mouse rockets in the wingtips!

Mirage 5BA
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Belgian version of the Mirage 5F, it has slightly worse missiles - AIM-9Js - but it does have access to countermeasures and a jammer.

Mirage 5BA MirSIP

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This improved 5BA now has canards for way better maneuverability at low speeds, and they possibly could now carry whatever the F-16 could.

F-16
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This F-16 was tested with Magic 2s and AS-30Ls, but they weren’t used in service. Still, could be an interesting modification or a future event vehicle!

Modern

Ground

SIBMAS LCTS 90MP
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The SIBMAS makes a return, deadlier than ever with the most modern iteration of the LCTS 90 turret, now with an autoloader and access to the Falarick tandem GLATGM penetrating 550 mm of armor!

Piranha IIIC DF90

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This Piranha is in service in the Belgian army, and while its LCTS 90MP turret is uparmored compared to the one fitted to the SIBMAS, it doesn’t use the autoloader and instead relies on manual loading (autoloader was probably too expensive for the Belgian army eh).

Piranha IIIC DF30
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Very recently in Belgian service, this Piranha is fitted with a 30 mm autocannon and can be used as a support vehicle or SPAA.

Piranha IIIC DF30 (late)

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This is simply a DF30 armed with additional SPIKE missiles, vastly improving its anti-tank capability.

Piranha IIIC C3030
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This Piranha has been fitted with a Cockerill 3030 turret and also has a 7-tube rocket pod strapped to it with deadly rockets such as the FZ49 HEAT rocket (350 mm pen), the FZ319 HEAP or the guided FZ275 SAPHE rocket.

Leopard 1A5BE C3105
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Another relatively iconic Belgian vehicle, a Leopard 1A5BE fitted with the long-necked Cockerill 3105 turret! It has an autoloader and access to a ridiculous APFSDS shell penetrating 560 mm of armor at 2000 m and 60°, as well as the Falarick GLATGM and its 550 mm of pen.

Boxer MGS C3105

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The same turret tested on the German-Dutch Boxer chassis which is more mobile but is a bigger target (no armor best armor anyways).

K21-105
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This one is a joint project that we could also see in South Korea, same turret again but this time on the modern K21 hull.

Cockerill i-X

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I hope this becomes an emblematic Belgian vehicle as well, the ultimate cancer vehicle, the R3 of the future; the Cockerill i-X!
Armed with a 25 mm Bushmaster autocannon in a retractable turret, equipped with a 800 hp engine, zooming around the battlefield at 200 km/h and with planned variants with ATGMs, you’re gonna have a blast with this one!

Sabiex HIFV
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Another joint project, this is a Belgian heavy modification of the OF-40 hull fitted with a BMP-3 turret at the demand of the UAE, this makes a quite well armored IFV! As it is a joint project and i personally don’t see a UAE tech tree coming soon, i might as well include it here but you’re free to disagree!

… and there’s more to come! Cockerill recently announced that they were well on their way to acquire Arquus, which would double their defence sector and make Cockerill able to develop not just turrets but complete light vehicles! Let’s wait and see…

With some Belgian vehicles showcased in this post, i hope i showed some of you what my little country was capable of, and maybe changed some minds about what minor nations had to offer!

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to see some of these vehicles in-game!

Do you want to see Belgian vehicles in War Thunder?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

How would you like to see them?
  • In a BeNeLux tree
  • In a French subtree
  • Some event vehicles and premiums only
  • Other
  • I don’t want anything Belgian

0 voters

7 Likes

Oh what I wouldn’t do to get those mirages in game. :D
And those wwii vehicles are golden!

It’s still ery surprising that no Belgian vehicle was ever added into war thunder. The dutch got the premium spitfire and the two Fokker D.21 planes, but even then they don’t even carry the flag in the background.

2 Likes

Make the BeNeLux great again

2 Likes

A very nice presentation or vehicles!
I think many people will find this insightful as, despite how large Cockerill is as a company, the Belgian defence sector is quite overlooked.

+1 as independent Benelux additions.

7 Likes

as a french sub tree, or spread as premiums /event vehicles sounds like a great idea!

I find it very disappointing as well, seen how Gaijin likes to introduce new nations here and there whenever they can

Thank you! I hope i can make people discover some of our cool vehicles this way

See? we can agree on some things

2 Likes

I think that any player of any non-major nation in War Thunder can attest to the big annoyance that is having your nations vehicles spread out over several nation, just look at the Canadians. :( the RAM in the US, a MEXAS leo in Germany and several indigenous ships/Boats, planes and tanks in the British TT. It’s frustrating to see.

Let’s hope that if BE should ever be introduced as event/premium vehicles only that they stay in the same Host Nation. Though personally I’m more of a fan of the BeNeLux Idea, though a French subtree wouldn’t be unthinkable, even if the french absolutely don’t need a subtree.

3 Likes

Yes to Belgian stuff. Hopefully to a Benelux tree.

Tho I will mention I would be extremely ticked off if a Belgian CF-100 gets added before a Canadian one.
It’s Canada’s only domestic jet fighter that made it to full production.

3 Likes

Oh i fully understand that feeling and i would not hope that only Belgium gets a CF-100

2 Likes

On a sidenote, France doesn’t have a squadronvehicle yet… ;)

3 Likes

Hi, i’m a frenchman and french main and I hope that Belgium will become a sub-tree for France even if I agree with the possible addition of a BeNeLux tech tree. Here are my reasons:

  1. France and Belgium are military partner : Scorpion, FCAS and the fact that Cockerill will probably buy Arquus ( major defence french company ) will probably boost collaborations between the two nations as the french CEO of Cockerill said that he wanted to propose vehicles also to the french thanks to that aquisition.

  2. Belgium could fix some gaps in the french tt : stabilized mbt with the different versionsof the leo 1a5be, better low rank vehicles, possible F 35, a109 with TOWs …
    Overall I think that Belgium have a lot of nice vehicles that could fit in the french tt.

  3. Regarding the implementation, it will be easy for air as they just need to add a 5th line for Belgium but for ground it’s harder since the french tt already have 5 lines. They could add belgian vehicles as premiums and also spread them in the french tt but I think that’s a bad idea because it will nerf the potential of Belgium. So I think that Gaijin should consider adding a 6th line for big TTs and for expanded TTs ( ex : scandinavian TT ).

  4. Adding a sub-tt is easier for Gaijin so it could happen way before a BeNeLux TT and I think that they probably have other ideas regarding the next nation to add. So it’s just a personal opinion but I think that a belgian sub-tree could be added in the next year while a full BeNeLux TT could take years to be added.

  5. Finally, a combined French and Belgian TT will attract players to the french TT so Gaijin would probablly give more “love” to both nations meaning more additions of vehicles …

I tried to be as brief as possible while explaining all of my points, so what do you think about that?

2 Likes

That’s true, and it looks like cooperation will only increase from now on, however there are a few issues with Belgium becoming a subtree — the biggest one being that the French ground tree already has the theoretical maximum of 5 lines, and until that gets fixed, then i don’t see how it’s possible for now.

That’s a fair point too, but then don’t you think people would get angry when they see Leopards, F-16s or CVRTs in the French tree?

True as well, but like you said, Gaijin should consider it, but until they do i won’t make a suggestion for it yet.

Well it has been 2 years since we’ve seen a new nation (and 4 years since we’ve seen a good one)) and War Thunder is expanding more and more quickly, i am personally expecting a new nation this year and more after that in a quicker succession as the game can’t expand too much into the modern era without causing major issues, hence the new nation solutions.

That is a fair point, we’ll have to see!

2 Likes

Well, I agree with your point of view, except i don’t care about the fact that adding vehicles from other nations will make people angry as Belgium would have less copy paste than a sub-tree like Finland while France is considered as a minor nation by many players, just like Sweden. Also leos, f16 are already widespread along a lot of TTs and Belgian ones have many differences from the original ( possible french missiles on the f16, domestically upgraded leos )
Finally a lot of other nations have and will likelly receive French stuff in the future ( Brits claiming mirages trough SA and other commonwealth countries ) so if a Belgian sub-tree is controvertial for the player base, then no other sub-trees should be added.

1 Like

You’re absolutely right, but i still think that France has a loooot of their own vehicles left to add, a ton of testbeds and prototypes and i think that a Belgium subtree would leave the Netherlands alone to be taken by Germany and that would imo be ugly but that’s another discussion…

4 Likes

Yeah for me these are the main drawbacks off adding Belgium to France. I think that the choice of how to add BeNeLux is up to the dev as both implementations are acceptable for me. So I hope that the suggestions about Belgian vehicles will be passed to devs.

1 Like

If you want to see that sugestions implemented you have to make them.

wdym?

I recommend looking at the OP’s profile before making such comment…

4 Likes

There were some people talking about subtrees being implemented as tabs, allowing for much larger subtrees.
In this case you’d have for example: Army - Helicopters - Aviation - Bluewater fleet - Belgium.
It would solve the 5 lines problem and would allow subtrees not to ruin a nation’s potential, but i think Gaijin stated they didn’t have plans for that. Can’t seem to find it anymore though

3 Likes

Well, it’s one solution that could work and as you said Gaijin will need more content as they go through the modern era so they will have to decide if they want to expand existing TTs or adding more independent TTs. Either way I feel like it would be unfair for “little” nations if they try to do a mix of both options as it will reinforce the feeling of “difference of treatment” between the nations.

1 Like