Aircraft Profile


 
F-16D 70-392 from Edwards AFB
(photo, Lockheed Martin)

Key Facts

Main Role: Multi-role fighter
Configuration: Delta-winged jet
Country: USA
Current Status: In Service, In Production

Development

In January 1972 the Lightweight Fighter Programme asked for designs from several American manufacturers. They were told to tailor their specifications toward developing a lightweight superiority fighter. General Dynamics and Northrop were asked to build prototypes. These were to be strictly technology demonstrators. Northrop produced the twin-engine YF-17 and General Dynamics came up with the compact YF-16 with one engine. The Lightweight Fighter competition was completed in 1975. On 13th January 1975 the USAF announced that the YF-16’s performance had made it the winner of its Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition.

General Dynamics was selected a finalist in the USAF’s programme to demonstrate superior dogfighting capabilities in a lightweight, low cost fighter prototype. This eventually led to production of the F-16. Since its small beginning with an initial USAF order for 650 aircraft, the F-16 has become one of the largest and most successful military aircraft in aviation history.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft. In the air combat role, the F-16’s maneouverability and combat radius exceed that of all potential enemy fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In the air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly over 500 miles, deliver its weapons accurately, defend itself, and return to base. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during bad weather or at night. With a full load of internal fuel the F-16 can withstand up to 9G’s. The bubble cockpit canopy gives the pilot unobstructed vision forward and upward and much improved vision over the side and rear.

The F-16 first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered to the 388th TFW at Hill AFB, Utah in January 1979. The two-seat version, the F-16B, has two cockpits each about the same size as the single ‘A’ version cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space is reduced.

The F-16C and F-16D are improved versions of the ‘A’ and ‘B’ and have the latest cockpit control and display technology. A consortium between the US and four NATO countries built the F-16: Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. These countries jointly constructed an initial 348 F-16’s for their air forces. Current USAF plans are for the Block 40/42 and 50/52 F-16’s to equip the USAF’s active units and Block 25/30/32 aircraft to equip Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units.

Variants

Requirement Specification: ?
Manufacturers Designation: ?

Development History:
YF-16 First prototype, designed for the LWF competition.
F-16A FSD Single-seat fighters from Full Scale Development batch for service testing.
F-16B FSD Two-seat conversion trainers from Full Scale Development batch. Airframe dimensions are same as for F-16A but loses 1,500 lb (680 kg) of fuel for rear cockpit. Retains full combat capability.
F-16A/B Block 1 Initial production version. Distinguished by their black radomes. Most Block 1 aircraft were upgraded to Block 10 standard in a programme called “Pacer Loft” in 1982.
F-16A/B Block 5 Refined production version. Most Block 5 aircraft were upgraded to Block 10 standard in a programme called “Pacer Loft” in 1982.
F-16A/B Block 10 Production version with slightly revised avionics equipment fit.
F-16A/B Block 15 The most numerous version of the F-16. Introduced the enlarged tailplane required when carrying large bomb-loads, and adopted on all subsequent variants. This block also featured the introduction of two hardpoints added to the chin of the engine intake. Improvements referred to as MSIP I
F-16A(R) Designation applied to some Dutch AF F-16A aircraft equipped with a centreline tactical reconnaissance pod.
ADF F-16A/B Block 15 Conversion of Block 15 aircraft to dedicated Air Defense Fighter role for use by the ANG. Modified radar to guide AIM-7 Sparrow or AIM-120 AMRAAM BVR missiles, advanced IFF and night identification light in port forward fuselage.
F-16A/B Block 10/Block 15 OCU Operational Capabilities Upgrade programme. Improved avionics and fire-control system and provision for F100-PW-220E engine.
F-16/B MLU Mid-Life Update programme for the original NATO F-16s. Brings cockpit up to Block 50 standard, plus APG-66(V2A) radar and provision for intake mounted FLIR and a helmet-mounted sight.
F-16A/B Block 20 Export version for Taiwan. F-16A/B airframe with MLU avionics fit, giving near Block 50 capability.
F-16C and F-16D Improved series featuring built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems that permit expansion of the multi-role flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond visual range interception missions. Distinguished by an enlarged fairing at the base of the fin, surmounted by a small blade aerial towards the front.
F-16C/D Block 25 Introduced the ability to carry AIM-120 AMRAAM as well as night and precision ground-attack capabilities, and an improved radar: the AN/APG-68, with increased range, better resolution, and more operating modes.
F-16C/D Block 30/32 New engines – Block 30 the General Electric F110-GE-100. Block 32 the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220. F110 engined aircraft feature a 1 ft (0.3 m) wider air intake to accomodate the increased air flow ingested. Both blocks can carry the AGM-45 Shrike and the AGM-88A HARM and they can also carry AGM-65 Maverick.
F-16C/D Block 40/42 ‘Night Falcon’ Introduced the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods and extensive air-to-ground loads, including GBU-10, 12, 24 Paveway laser-guided bombs and the GBU-15. Block 40/42 production began in 1988 and went on until 1995.
F-16C/D Block 50/52 Equipped with the APG-68(V)7 radar and F110-GE-229 (block 50) or F100-PW-220 (block 52) Improved Performance Engine. Technology enhancements include multi-function displays, new modular mission computer, digital terrain system, colour video camera and triple deck recorder. They also carry the CBU-102, 104, 105 Wind-Corrected Stand-Off Weapon, and the GBU-31, 32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions.
F-16CJ/DJ Block 50D/52D “Wild Weasel” Recognised for its ability to carry the AGM-88 HARM and the AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System (HTS) in the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) mission. This specialised version of the F-16 can also carry the ALQ-119 Electronic Jamming Pod for self-protection.
F-16C/D Block 60 In may 1998 the UAE announced the selection of Block 60 F-16’s to be delivered between 2002 and 2004. The upgrade includes conformal fuel tanks for greater range.
F-16/79 One F-16A converted to take a J79 engine, as used by the F-4 Phantom II. Downgraded export version, later abandoned.
F-16 CCV First YF-16 rebuild to test Control Configured Vehicle technology, with twin canards added.
AFTI/F-16A Fifth FSD F-16A converted with triplex digital flight control system, larger vertical canard control surfaces at the air intake and a thick dorsal spine for Advanced Fighter Technology Integration testing.
NF-16D VISTA Dedicated research aircraft. Later used to develop the AVEN thrust vectoring engine nozzle
F-16XL Special version of F-16 with large cranked delta wing. Intended to improve range, speed and weapons load. Lengthened fuselage mated with completely new ‘cranked-arrow’ delta wing fitted with 17 stores stations. Passed to NASA after losing competition with F-15E.
F-16E/F Proposed designations for single and two-seat production versions of F-16XL.
F-16N Version of the F-16C Block 30 for use by the US Navy as an Aggressor aircraft. Simplified and downgraded systems including fitment of APG-66 radar and removal of the cannon.
TF-16N Two-seat onversion trainer version of F-16N.

History

Key Dates:
January 1972    Lightweight Fighter Project specifications issued.
20 January 1974    Maiden flight of YF-16.
13th January 1975    LWF Competition completed. USAF selects the YF-16.
June 1975    Four NATO countries select the F-16A/B.
December 1976    First flight of F-16A.
January 1979    First F-16As delivered to 388th TFW USAF.
3 July 1982    First flight of F-16XL.
19 June 1984    First flight of F-16C.
October 1986    USAF launches F-16A/B ADF conversion programme.
22 October 1991    First flight of F-16C Block 50.
December 1992    Lockheed Martin purchases General Dynamics Tactical Military Aircraft.
27 December 1992    First air-to-air victory by USAF F-16, over Iraq.
4th December 1996    USAF F-16’s top 5 million flight hours
30th March 1999    3,035th F-16 delivered from Fort Worth factory.
28th July 1999    New Zealand becomes the 20th F-16 customer. (Order later cancelled)
28th April 2000    Lockheed Martin delivers the 4,000th F-16
March 2001    Final USAF aircraft delivered.
The F-16D Production line AFFTC F-16C launching an
AIM-120 AMRAAM
388th FW F-16A dropping ‘iron’ bombs
(All photos Lockheed Martin)

Operators

Military Operators

U.S. Air Force (F-16A/B/C/D)
U.S. Navy (F-16N/TF-16N)
Bahrain – Air Force (2 Sqns with F-16C/D)
Belgium – Air Force (6 Sqns with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Denmark – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Egypt – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B, 6 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Greece – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Indonesia – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Iran – Air Force (Order cancelled)
Israel – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, 7 Sqns. with F-16C/D, ? Sqns with F-16I)
Jordan – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
South Korea – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
Netherlands – Air Force (9 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
Norway – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16A/B, later F-16A/B MLU)
New Zealand – Air Force (Order cancelled)
Pakistan – Air Force (3 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Portugal – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Singapore – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Taiwan – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16A/B)
Thailand – Air Force (1 Sqn. with F-16A/B)
Turkey – Air Force (8 Sqns. with F-16C/D)
UAE – Air Force (4 Sqns. with F-16C/D on order)
Venezuela – Air Force (2 Sqns. with F-16A/B)

Government Agencies

NASA F-16C/D/XL

Civilian Operators

None  

Specifications

Lockheed Martin F-16A Fighting Falcon
Crew: One
Dimensions: Length 49 ft 4 in (15.03 m); Height 16 ft 5.2 in (5.01 m); Wing Span 31 ft 0 in (9.45 m) without wingtip AAMs, 32 ft 9.72 in (10.00 m) with wingtip AAMs; Wing Area 300.00 sq ft (28.87 sq m)
Engines: One Pratt & Whitney F100-P-100 turbofan rated at 14,670 lb st (65.26 kN) dry and 23,830 lb st (106.0 kN) with afterburning
Weights: Empty Equipped 14,567 lb (6,607 kg); Typical Combat Take-off 22,785 lb (10,335 kg); Maximum Take-off 33,000 lb (14,968 kg)
Armament: 20-mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon in port LERX with 511 rounds, wingtip launch rails for AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar missiles, six underwing hardpoints and one under-fuselage centre-line pylon for a maximum of 19,600 lb (8891 kg) of stores at 5.5g loading.
Performance: Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 1,146+ kts (1,320 mph, 2,124 kph) at 40,000 ft (12190 m), 795 kts (915 mph, 1472 kph) at sea level; Maximum rate of climb at sea level 50,000+ ft/min (15240+ m/min); Service ceiling 50,000+ ft (15,240 m); Ferry range 2,100+ nm (2,418 mls, 3,891 km) with drop tanks, Combat radius 295 nm (340 mls 547 km) on hi-lo-hi mission with six 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs
 
Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon
Crew: One
Dimensions: Length 49 ft 4 in (15.03 m); Height 16 ft 8½ in (5.09 m); Wing Span 31 ft 0 in (9.45 m) without wingtip AAMs, 32 ft 9.72 in (10.00 m) with wingtip AAMs; Wing Area 300.00 sq ft (28.87 sq m)
Engines: One General Electric F110-GE-100 turbofan rated at 27,600 lb st (122.77 kN) with afterburning, or one Pratt & Whitney F100-P-220 turbofan rated at 23,450 lb st (104.31 kN) with afterburning
Weights: Empty Equipped 19,100 lb (8,663 kg) with F110 turbofan or 18,335 lb (8,316 kg) with F100 turbofan; Typical Combat Take-off 21,585 lb (9,791 kg); Maximum Take-off 25,071 lb (11,372 kg) for an air-air mission without drop tanks or 42,300 lb (19,187 kg) with maximum external load
Armament: 20-mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon in port LERX with 511 rounds, wingtip launch rails for AIM-9 Sidewinder or similar missiles, six underwing hardpoints and one under-fuselage centre-line pylon for a maximum of 19,600 lb (8891 kg) of stores at 5.5g loading.
Performance: Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 1,146+ kts (1,320 mph, 2,124 kph) at 40,000 ft (12190 m), 795 kts (915 mph, 1472 kph) at sea level; Maximum rate of climb at sea level 50,000+ ft/min (15240+ m/min); Service ceiling 50,000+ ft (15,240 m); Ferry range 2,100+ nm (2,418 mls, 3,891 km) with drop tanks, Combat radius 295 nm (340 mls 547 km) on hi-lo-hi mission with six 1000 lb (454 kg) bombs
F-16A FA-60 from 31 Sqn Belgian Air
Force, seen in 1991. (photo, Anthony Noble)
F-16A FA-55 of 1 Sqn Belgian Air Force, seen
in 1992. (photo, Anthony Noble)

Production

Design Centre

Head of Design Team: Not known
Design Office: General Dynamics Corporation, Fort Worth, TX (originally)

Manufacture

Production summary: (Blocks 1 – 20 = A/B, Block 25+ = C/D)

Block F-16A/C F-16B/D Total
1 21 22 43
5 99 27 126
10 145 25 170
15 410 47 457
20 ? ? 150
25 289 30 319
30 360 48 408
32 56 5 61
40 234 31 265
42 150 47 197
50 175 28 203
52 42 12 54
60 ? ? 80?
      2533
Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems Company (LMASC)
(Lockheed Martin TAS, PO Box 748, Fort Worth, TX 761201, USA. Formerly General Dynamics Corp.)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
YF-16 2 Fort Worth, TX 1973-1974
F-16A FSD 6 Fort Worth, TX 1975-1977
F-16B FSD 2 Fort Worth, TX 1977-1978
F-16A 675 Fort Worth, TX 1978-1984
F-16B 121 Fort Worth, TX 1978-1984
F-16C 1306+ Fort Worth, TX 1984-2001
F-16D 201+ Fort Worth, TX 1984-2001
F-16N 22 Fort Worth, TX Jan 1985-1988
TF-16N 4 Fort Worth, TX Jan 1985-1988
F-16/79 1? Fort Worth, TX ?
F-16XL (rebuild) 2 Fort Worth, TX 1982-1983
Total: 2967+    
Fokker Aircraft
(Fokker, Schiphol, Netherlands)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-16A 273 ? 1978-?
F-16B 50 ? 1978-?
Total: 300    

Aircraft delivered to Netherlands, Norway and Denmark.

SABCA
(SABCA, Belgium)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-16A 190 ? 1978-?
F-16B 40 ? 1978-?
Total: 222    

Aircraft delivered to Belgium and Denmark + 1 a/c to Egypt.

TAI-Turkish Aerospace Industries
(TAI, Turkey – Formerly TUSAS)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-16C Block 30 35 ? 1990-1992
F-16D Block 30 9 ? 1990-1992
F-16C Block 40 101 ? 1992-1995
F-16D Block 40 15 ? 1992-1995
F-16C Block 50 110 ? 1995-1999
F-16D Block 50 20 ? 1995-1999
Total: 290    
Samsung Aerospace
(Samsung, South Korea – later Korean Aerospace)
Version Quantity Assembly Location Time Period
F-16C Block 52 ?* ? 1994-2001
F-16D Block 52 ?* ? 1994-2001
Total: 120    

* = 12 a/c built at Fort Worth + 36 supplied as kits + 72 local.

Total Produced: 3779+ a/c

Production List

To be added.

More Information

Books

‘Supersonic Fighters: The F-16 Fighting Falcon (War Planes)’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Bill Sweetman
Published by Capstone Press, Jan 2001 ISBN: 07368 07926
* F-16 history for junior readers.

‘F-16 Fighting Falcon in Action’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Lou Drendel
Published by Squadron/Signal Publications, 28 October 1982 ISBN: 0 89747 133 4
* Good pictorial history, but pre-Gulf War.

‘Viper F-16′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Lou Drendel
Published by Squadron/Signal Publications, 25 Sept 1992 ISBN: 0 89747 281 0
* Good post-Gulf War pictorial history.

‘F-16 Fighting Falcons’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by David F. Brown and Robert F. Dorr
Published by Osprey, 25 Sept 1992 ISBN: 1 85532 236 6
* Colourful pictorial history.

‘Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Bill Sweetman & Robert F. Dorr
Published by Aerospace Publishing, 1998 ISBN: 1 86184 028 4
* Comprehensive and very detailed history.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 5′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, Apr 1991 ISBN: 1 87402 3093
* Includes ‘Focus Aircraft’ 62-page feature on the early model F-16s.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 21′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, summer 1995 ISBN: 1 87402 3603
* Includes Part 1 of ‘Variant Briefing’ feature on the F-16.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 22′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, fall 1995 ISBN: 1 87402 362X
* Includes Part 2 of ‘Variant Briefing’ feature on the F-16.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 23′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, winter 1995 ISBN: 1 87402 3646
* Includes Part 1 of ‘Operators’ feature on the F-16.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 24′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, spring 1996 ISBN: 1 87402 3662
* Includes Part 2 of ‘Operators’ feature on the F-16.

‘World Air Power Journal, Volume 36′ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
Published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, spring 1999 ISBN: 1 86184 027 6
* Includes ‘Focus Aircraft’ 50-page feature on the F-16 Block 40 onwards.

Uncovering the Lockheed Martin F-16A/B/C/D [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Danny Coremans & Nico DeBoeck
Published by DACO Publications, 20 Nov 2002 ISBN: 90-806747-1-0
* Ultra-detailed colour pictorial coverage of the F-16 for scale modellers.

‘General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon – Lock On No.2′
by Francois Verlinden
Published by Verlinden Publications, ? ISBN: 90-70932-03-2
* Good photographic portrait aimed at the scale modeller, but mainly focuses on the F-16A variant.

‘F-16 Fighting Falcon Walkaround’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Lou Drendel
Published by Squadron/Signal Publications, October 1993 ISBN: 0-89747-307-8
* Close-up pictorial study of all versions up to Block 52.

‘The Air Forces Monthly Book of the F-16 Fighting Falcon’ [Order this book from Amazon UK]
by Tim Senior
Published by Key Books Ltd, 22 Aug 2002 ISBN: 0-946219-60-5
* Concise but comprehensive up-to-date profile of the F-16. Well illustrated.

Production List:
‘F-16 Fighting Falcon – 4th Edition’ Scramble Special Edition
by Martin de Boer
Published by Dutch Aviation Society, 2000 ISBN: 90 806230 1 6
* Spotters history of the F-16. Includes all variants, units and complete production list.

Magazines

Links

Airliners.net
(129 pages of good quality F-16 photos)

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Description, armament, tactics, news, gallery, future developments etc)

General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Very detailed profile covering all variants and operators – no photos)

The Lockheed Martin F-16
(Good profile of development, variants, service use and derivatives)

JetPhotos.net
(27 pages of Lockheed Martin F-16 photos)

JetPhotos.net
(45 pages of General Dynamics F-16 photos)

F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Air Force Technology: description of the technology included in the latest versions of the F-16)

F-16I Soufa
(Air Force Technology: description of the technological features of the Israeli F-16I variant)

F-16 Image Gallery
(Lockheed Martin official photos)

Lockheed Martin F-16C
(F-16C walkaround photos)

ROCAF Lockheed Martin F-16A/B Fighting Falcon
(Details of F-16 service use in Taiwan)

Gallery of the Lockheed-Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Photos of Royal Netherlands AF F-16s)

F-16 Fighting Falcon
(FAS profile: design features, variants, spec, production, weapons, photos, sources)

F-16.net: The Ultimate F-16 Reference
(Lots of F-16 info: news, versions, operators, database, timeline, forum, photos, books etc)

F16 Falcon.com
(Copy of Joe Baugher’s F-16 profile, photos, patches)

A tribute to the F-16
(A guide to the F-16, with photos by Hans Rolink)

F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Milavia profile: history, specs, photos, links, books)

The F-16 Viper Pilots Association
(e-publications, news, members, photos, links)

F-16 Viper Information Page
(Modelling the F-16: variant descriptions, cockpit details, websites/books/flight sims, scale models data)

F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Comprehensive profile of many aspects of the F-16 plus good photo gallery)

F-16 Fighting Falcon Walkaround
(Close-up photos of F-16A/C/D variants)

AXLs Plane Gallery: F-16 Falcon
(Collection of 142 F-16 photos)

F-16 Fighting Falcon
(Global Security detailed profile of the F-16)

General Dynamics F-16 (Fighting Falcon)
(Listing of F-16s held in US aviation museums)

F-16XL Ship #1
(NASA Dryden photos of the F-16XL)

AFTI/F-16
(NASA Dryden photos of the AFTI/F-16)

Turkish Air Force and F-16
(Details for the F-16s used by the Turkish AF)










Shop

Flight Simulator Models:
To be added.

Scale Models:
To be added.

Scale Drawings:
See the ‘Uncovering the Lockheed Martin F-16′ or ‘Lock On’ titles above.

Videos:

‘F-16 Falcon – Modern Military Aircraft’ [Order this DVD from Amazon UK]
* Good profile of the F-16, it’s weapons and a view from the cockpit.

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