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F-16 Fighting Falcon (General Dynamics)

The F-16 is a from origin light-weight 1-engine fighter jet which is updated into a multi-role aircraft for operations world wide. There have been designed more than 110 variants which are in service in 24 countries. The F-16 is a relative cheap fighter jet but is capable for a large variety of missions with a large weapon arsenal. It is a attractive fighter jet for countries with a low /medium defence budget but also for the military super powers. The F-16 can be equipped with; air-to-air missiles like the AIM-9 Sidewinder and the AIM-120 AMRAAM, laser guided air-to-ground missiles like the AGM-65 Maverick, precision
ammunition like the GBU-31 JDAM, general purpose bombs like Mk82 and Mk84, cruise missiles, advanced reconnaissance and targeting pods and external fuel tanks. A unknown US and foreign F-16's are capable of launching missiles with a nuclear warhead.

In 1972 General Dynamics and Northrop had order to develop a new fighter jet for the USAF. They developed 2 prototypes: the YF-16 respectively YF-17. In 1976 the USAF have chosen for the YF-16 from General Dynamics because it was lighter and less expensive then the YF-17. Given that the USAF had also F-15's they have chosen to develop the F-16 for air-to-air and air-to-surface missions and the F-15 only for air-to-air missions.

All F-16's are being build in blocks. A block is a milestone for a new configuration F-16. In a block there are subblobks called "miniblocks". The difference between a block designation which ends with a 2, designates the F-16 has a engine from Pratt & Whitney and a F-16 with 0 signifies the F-16 has an engine from General Electric (like the block 50 en block 52).

The F-16 is a multi-role fighter jet which exceeds all other fighter jets with combat radius (the distance to fly to enter a air combat, fight and return home). The F-16 can detect targets and low flying aircraft day and night in all weather conditions.
In an air-to surface role the F-16 can fly about 860 kilometers, fire his bombs with superior accuracy, defend itself's against enemy aircraft and return to his start point. Of course the pilot doesn't has to see the enemy visual to hit him.


Specifications F-16 USAF / General

Design organisation Lockheed-Martin
Main secundary design organisations GE, Pratt & Whitney
Production organisaton Lockheed-Martin
Primary task Air-to-ground attack
Type aircraft 3th generation fighter jet
Specials First aircraft with fly-by-wire controlsystem, Many operators
Length 15,03 meters (49,3 ft)
Height 5,09 meters (16,7 ft)
Wingspan 10,0 meters (32,8 ft)
Wing surface 27,87 m2 (300 sq ft)
Aspect ratio  
Sweep back  
Engines 1x Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 of
1x General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust F100-PW-229: 29,100 lb
F110-GE-129: 29,500 lb
Weight (empty) 9208 kgs (20,300 lb)
Weight (start, maximum, MTOW) 21,772 kgs (48,000 lb)
Weight (landing, maximum, MLW)  
Required runway length (start)  
Required runway length (landing)  
Cruise speed  
Maximum speed > Mach 2
Ceiling > 15 km (50,000 ft)
Maximum range 3222km (1740 n mi )
Fuel capacity 3175 kg (7000 pond)
Capability for external fuel tanks
Air-to-air-refueling capability Yes
Passengers none
Payload none
Armament Possible combination of:

- 1x M61 A1 Vulcan boardcanon (20mm)
- AIM-7 Sparrow
- AIM-9 Sidewinder
- AGM-65 Maverick
- AGM-188 HARM
- AGM-154 JSOW

- B61 Nuclear bomb

- CBU-87
- CBU-89
- CBU-97

- GBU-10 Paveway II
- GBU-12 Paveway II
- GBU-16 Paveway II
- GBU-24 Paveway III
- GBU-27 Paveway III
- GBU-39 SDB

- Mark 82 bomb
- Mark 83 bomb
- Mark 84 bomb
Maximum weapon load  
Maximum G resistance  
Radar AN/APG-68
Sensors Possible combination of: 

- SNIPER pod
- AN/ALR-56M advanced RWR
Avionics Possible combination of: 

- AN/ALQ-131(V) ECM pod
- AN/ALW-184 EA pod

- AM/FM VHF radio
- AN/ARC-164 UHF radio
- AN/ARC-190(V) HF radio
- LN-260 INS/GPS
- Helmet Mounted Display
- AN/APX-125 IFF Systeem
- AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenser
Type flight controls  
Landing gear  
Versions > 9 G
Manufactured > 4500
Crew 1 (F-16A/C), 2 (F-16B/D)
Costs 18,8 million (FY98)
Overall flight hours  
First flight F-16A, december 1976
First delivery  
Operational since F-16A, January 1979
F-16C/D Block 25-32, 1981
F-16C/D Block 40-42, 1989
F-16C/D Block 50-52, 1994
Successor of  
Replaced by F-35C (planned)
Comparable aircraft  
Operators (current and future) United States (Air Force, Air National Guard, Air Reserve, Navy), Bahrain, Chili, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Geece, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Marokko, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela, United Arabian Emirates, South-Korea
Main operators United States Air Force, Israel, Turkey
Amphibious usage Nee
Status In operational service


More than 4000 F-16's are in service with 24 countries in 110 different version. The main user of the F-16 is the United States (1). The country with the largest F-16 fleet outside the US is Israel (2). The four EPAF countries who developed the Midlife update for the F-16 are the Netherlands (3), Belgium (4), Norway (5), Denmark(6) and later also Portugal (7). Other users of the F-16 are Italy (8), Greece(9), Poland (10), Turkey (11), Chile(12), Jordan (13), Egypt(14), India (15), Pakistan (16) ,Taiwan (17) and Morocco (18).

1. United States
The first F-16A in the United States Air Force (USAF) was used since 1976 and operational in 1979. There have been manufactured 2216 F-16's for the USAF. They will be replaced by the F-35A Lightning II. The last F-16 was delivered to the Air Force on 18 march 2005.

The F-16 is also in service with the United States Navy. All F-16s which were delivered since november 1981 have structural built-in wiring systems and provisions to get the multi-role flexibility for precision strike, night attack en beyond-visual-range interception missions. These aircraft are assigned to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (Top Gun) located at NAS Fallon, Nevada.

On June 8, 2006, 2 American F-16s from the US Air Force bombed the house with the most terrorist in Iraq Al-Zarqawi inside with precision guided missiles. Al-Zarqawi died after it.

In March 2011 US F-16CJ´s were used in combat operations in Libya as part of a coalition to maintain the UN resolution 1973.

American F-16's which are now in service with
- the United States Air Force (590x F-16C and 130x F-16D)
- the United States Air National Guard (60x F-16C and 10x F-16D)
- the United States Air National Reserve (438x F-16C and 40x F-16D)
- the United States Navy (inventory unknown)
The United States Air Force has according to official sources, some 1269 F-16 fighter jets at the moment.

USAF F-16 (Paris, France 2023)

2. Israel
De Israeli Air Force has since 1980 over F-16
's die word en rebuilt or anvils- en condescending. Al nab en jar daft zee warden gloved verde Israelis F-16's animalisms quit op en Rake nuclear reactor die complete weird oversetting.
Took tide Operation Peace for the Galilee beelike Israel luc ht dominant door 40 Service ligaturing never Ute ha len.

IAI F-16

3. the Netherlands
During the 70's, the Netherlands bought 237 F-16's. In 2014 only 68 F-16AM / BM's were still operational. The F-16's are stationed on Volkel Air Force Base and Leeuwarden Air Force Base and flown by 5 operational squadrons. Dutch F-16's are also stationed in Tucson, USA to train new pilots. The fleet of F-16's will be replaced by 39 F-35A Lightnings II.

15 Dutch F-16's Air Field attack 2009

The first F-16 was delivered in 1979 (block 1-5). After that there have been bought more, or they are converted to block 20-25. The Block 25 F-16's are capable to carry AMRAAM missiles and performing precision ground attack. Besides, they have a improved radar; the Westinghouse (AN/APG-68). This has an improved range, better resolution and the ability to operate in different modes. In the Netherlands the F-16's have been adjusted to also operate as a bomber.

Since the defence cuts in 2011, the Royal Netherlands Air Force had the decrease the number of F-16's from 87 to 68 F-16AM's and a few F-16BM's in operational service. The operational squadrons shrank from 5 to 4 ( one squadron was cut at Volkel AFB).
In 2013 RNLAF F-16's reached 10 years ongoing deployment in Afghanistan.

On december 16th, 2005, 18 Dutch F-16's have been sold to Chili which were delivered between 2006 and 2007.
On September 16th, 2008 the Dutch government decided that 18 F-16's will be sold.


- On thursday, august 31 2006 a Dutch F-16 crashed in Afghanistan in the region of Ghazni. The 29-year pilot died. The RNLAF never gave any further information about the cause, but it is assumed that the F-16 was not shut down by enemy fire.

- On friday, June 15th 2007, a RNLAF F-16AM was almost crashed on the Dutch air show during take off. The engine compressor stalled (due to a bird strike). The F-16 dropped 2 fuel tanks in the neighborhood of Volkel AFB and then landed safely.

Midlife Update project (Mlu)

The Royal Netherlands air force started in 1998 with the modernization of the F-16's in the project called Midlife Update project. The need of the modification came on initiative of the Belgium Air Force. Together with the air forces of Belgium, Denmark and Norway the RNLAF started the Mlu project. Since Mlu these 4 air forces are called the "European Participating Air Forces" (EPAF). The need of the Mlu was that European F-16's fly in whole other climatic conditions than the USAF F-16's. (the F-16 is also developed at the climatic conditions in the US). These European F-16's had more maintenance also causes by low-flying.

Modernization Peacer Amstel

In 2003 all Dutch F-16's were getting a new modernization because the successor will come operational around 2020. Due to this the F-16's will be updated to be able to fly in the RNLAF till 2020. The modernization is called Peacer Amstel and will be done by the Fokker company near Woensdrecht Air Force Base. They will also get new computer software called M3. The most important of the M3 is that they are capable with Link 16. In 2008 all Dutch F-16 must be completed. Then there will be around 1000 F-16's in the NATO (400 in the EU and 600 in the USA) which are capable with Link 16. Around June 2006 the first Dutch F-16s have been updated with the new M4 Software.

Low flying on Goose-Bay
Low flying was meant to fly beneath the range of enemy radartoaag vliegen was bedoeld om onder het bereik van vijandelijke radar te vliegen en werd beoefend op Goose-bay in Canada. Dit laagvliegen is overigens afgeschaft dus alle reclames van de luchtmacht hierover zijn niet meer van toepassing!!! De reden is dat met de komst van high-tech precisie wapens straaljagers vanaf hoge hoogte doelen tot op 1 of 2 meter nauwkeurig kunnen bombarderen. Veelal worden dit soort wapens op de grond nog eens naar hun doel geleidt door special forces. Deze tactiek wordt al veelvuldig toegepast door de Verenigde Staten met name in Afghanistan.

Dutch F-16 Missions
Between 1993 and 2001 Dutch F-16's were stationed on Villafranca AFB and Amendola AFB as part of NATO operations above Bosnia. Here for the Dutch F-16's formed a unit asame with F-16's from the Belgium Air Force. They were used for photo reconnaissance and the operations: Deliberate Force and Allied Force. Both were NATO operations.The first one was against Bosnia-Servisch targets and Allied force was around Kosovo. The Netherlands flew more than 1300 missions and have shot one MiG-29 down. Besides they have bombed a lot of air force bases and buildings.
- After a request of the United States of America for Close Air Support for US Special Force, Dutch F-16's and a KDC-10 were send to Afghanistan in 2002 as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Here for the F-16's were stationed on Manas AFB in Kirgizstan. They were part of a unit of 18 F-16's: 6 from The Netherlands, 6 from Norway and 6 from Denmark.
- On the first of april 2005 4 Dutch F-16 fighter jets from the Royal Netherlands Air Force will be stationed in Afghanistan for the ISAF mission. The 4 fighter jets will be used for reconnaissance, air support and to show dominating power (show of force).
- From 1 april 2005 till 30 June 4 Dutch F-16's will be stationed on Siauliai Airport in Lithuania.The Netherlands which are NATO-member takes responsibility of the Quick Reaction Alert-(QRA)-task. This is also called a Air-Policing task. These policing task is to control the airspace above the 3 Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These countries don't have fighter jets yet. NATO countries - where of The Netherlands - control the NATO airspace in peace time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is to intercept unknown or shady airplanes. This is coordinated by CAOC2 in Kalkar.
- On sunday the 3rd of july, 3 Dutch F-16's have been send to Aruba to search for the American girl
Natalee Holloway. With infra-red camera's the NL F-16 fighter jets will seek the iceland and the ocean.

- Dutch F-16 are still in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On March 24, 2011, 6 F-16's from Leeuwarden AFB were send to Italy to take part in the mission which maintains the UN resolution 1973 in Libya. The F-16's will be operational for 3 months.

4. Belgium
Belgium has 72 F-16AM/BM's which are stationed on Kleine-Brögel Air Force Base and Florence AFB. These fighters have been used in Bosnia during Operation Allied Force. They were stationed - just as the Dutch F-16's for many years on Villafranca Air Force Base in Italy.

In 2004 some Belgium F-16 have been send to Letland to do surveillance missions above the new NATO frontiers. This caused a political frustrating in Moscow. (The new NATO countries do not have jets for this. One of the main missions in a NATO air force is to protect the NATO frontiers.

On September 1st 2008, 4 Belgium F-16's were send to Afghanistan to support NATO ground forces. The operations will be 4 months with possible 2 months more.

In March 2011, 6 F-16´s were send to Greece to take part in the coalition mission in Libya.

In 2014, the US DoD announced that it approved a Belgian request for upgrading the Belgian F-16's Block 15 with OFP S1, M5 and M6 (Ref. 12). The upgrade includes:

- 69 LN-260 Embedded Global Positioning System-Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS-INS)
- 8 Remote Operated Video Enhanced Receivers IV (ROVER IV)
- 62 AN/APX-125 Transceivers (AN/APX-125 Air Identification Friend of Foe Radios)
- 32 KIV-78s,
- 1 Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS)
- 4 BRU-61/A Carriage Systems
- 43 AN/ARC-210(V) RT-1990(C) Ultra High Frequency/Very High Frequency (UHF/VHF) Receiver Transmitters.

The extimated cost is $113 million.

In the year of 2003 or 2004 2 Belgium F-16's from Kleine-Brögel Air Force base crashed. One pilot was killed.


5. Norway
Norway has 57 F-16AM and F-16BM fighter jets.


6. Denmark
The Air Force of Denmark has F-16A/B MLU fighter jets.

F-16AM F-16AM

7. Portugal
Portugal joined the Midlife update from the EPAF countries to update thei
r F-16 fleet.


8. Italy
The Italian Air Force had at least 34 F-16 Block 15 ADF (Air Defence Fighter) aircraft which have been leased from the US Air Force. As of 2014, they are out of service.


9. Greece
Greece Hellenic Air Force has F-16C and F-16D fighter jets.
In 2005 Greece has ordered 40 more new F-16C and F-16D block 52+ fighter jets for amount of 3.1 billion dollar. These extra fighter jets will replace the A-7 Corsair and another type fighter jet in service with the Greece Hellenic Air Force in the near future.


10. Iraq
In 2011, Iraq ordered 18 F-16's, followed by a second order in 2012 for 18 F-16's. The F-16's are bought via FMS. The first F-16 was delivered in June 2014.

11. Poland


12. Turkey

13. Chile
By the Peace Puma program from the Air Force of Chili, the country has bought 10 new advanced Block 50 F-16's. There of are 6 F-16C single-seaters and 4 F-16D double seaters. The first manufactured F-16 is new used for test flying, the second en third are to train the technicians for aircraft maintenance. The aircraft will be directly flown to Chili. Delivering of all the 10 F-16's is scheduled for 2006.

On 16 december 2005, 18 F-16's from the Royal Netherlands Air Force have been sold to Chili. They will be delivered to Chili in 1006 and 2007.


14. Jordan
When Jordan wrote a peace contract with Israel the United States agree with the delivery of F-16's to Jordan. Jordan is coming more on line with Western countries. Due to this Jordan gets more problem with ethnic groups and terrorism.
Jordan has since 2004 the F-16. They are former USAF F-16 which where stored somewhere in the US and were not used any more. They are F-16 from the type Block 15 OCU. They were one of the first in de US but for Jordan the F-16 is a modern weapons to replace old F-104 and F-5. They get a few improvements like a new engine. They will also be updated with the Midlife project. After mlu update they will be comparable with the F-16 block 50. The F-16's are stationed on Muafaq Al-Salti Air Base in the East of Jordan.

15. Egypt
In 1980 the Egyptian ordered 42 F-16' and placed 5 more orders with a total of up to 240 F-16's.
In March 2010, Egypt placed an order for the delivery of 20 F-16's Block 52, of which 16 F-16C's and 4 F-16D's.

One Egypt Air Force F-16 crashed during exercise Bright Star 2005.


16. India
There is a opportunity that India will buy 100 or more F-16's.

17. Pakistan
The US have honored Pakistan with the support against the International Terrorism in Afghanistan with a sale of 288 F-16's.

In January 2008, Lockheed-Martin said it had received a contract from Pakistan for the delivery of 18 F-16's.

18. Taiwan

In 1992 Taiwan has awarded a contract of 150 F-16's.

19. Morocco
Medio december 2007 the United States State department allowed Lockheed-Martin to sell F-16's to Morocco. Morocco has ordered 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 with arms for a price of approximately 2.4 billion dollars. Earlier, Morocco also ordered advanced 4th-generation Rafale fighter jets in France.

20. South-Korea
The South-Korean Air Force has a fleet of 169 F-16's.


21. United Arabian Emirates

The United Arabian Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) had the newest version of the F-16; the F-16E (single seater) and F-16F (double seater) Block 60.



1. Lockheed Martin
2. Pratt & Whitney
3. General Electric
4. United States Air Force
5. United States Navy
6. Royal Netherlands Air Force
7. Royal Norwegian Air Force
8. Belgian Air Force
9. Portugese Air Force
10. Greece Hellenic Air Force
11. Italian Air Force

12. Belgian upgrade

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Last updated: 28 June 2023