Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft
Using Service (US):
Air Force (USAF)
No more new aircraft will be purchased.
The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single seat, fixed wing, multi-role
fighter aircraft powered by a single Pratt & Whitney
turbofan engine. On the F-16, which is a 4th generation fighter aircraft, advanced technology features
include a blended wing body, reduced static margin, and fly-by-wire flight control.
The F-16C/D is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68 multi-mode fire control radar. However, new built F-16E/F Block 60 aircraft (not in U.S. inventory) are equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 AESA Radar. U.S. Air Force F-16C/D aircraft can be equipped with the LANTIRN targeting system. The Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system from Lockheed Martin allows the F-16 to fly at low altitudes, at night and in any weather conditions, to attack ground targets. The LANTIRN system gives the F-16 extra accuracy for weapons delivery and consists of two pods (AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod + AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod) attached to the exterior of the aircraft. Also, the F-16 can be equipped with the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING Targeting Pod from Northrop Grumman.
To date, more than 4,500 F-16s have been produced and delivered to 26 countries. The F-16 is a highly maneuverable aircraft which has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. The F-16 provides a low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and its allies.
The F-16A (single-seat) first flew in December 1976 and the first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979. The F-16B (two-seat) has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. The bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. For training purposes, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit. All aircraft delivered since November 1981 are F-16C/D variants. They have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multi-role flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two-seat) Fighting Falcons incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active, Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFR) units have been converted to the F-16C/D configurations.
As of September 2012, there are a total of 1,013 F-16s (852 C-models and 161 D-models) in the USAF inventory of which 379 are assigned to ANG units and 53 to AFR units.
The F-16 was built under an international agreement creating a consortium between the U.S. and the four NATO countries of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. These countries jointly produced (with the United States) an initial 348 F-16 fighters for their respective air forces. The consortium's F-16s were assembled from components manufactured in all five countries, while final airframe assembly lines were located in Belgium and the Netherlands. Belgium also provided final assembly of the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine used in the European F-16s. To date, more than 4,500 aircraft have been delivered worldwide.
The F-16 has played a major role in recent conflicts, flying thousands of sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
At the 2012 Singapore Airshow, Lockheed Martin announced its decision to offer F-16 customers a new variant dubbed the F-16V (V for Viper). The program includes upgrades such as an active electronically scanning array (AESA) radar, upgraded mission computers and architecture, improvements to the cockpit and fuel tanks. The F-16V will satisfy emerging customer requirements and prepare the aircraft to better interoperate with fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 and the F-35. The F-16V program is applicable for both U.S. Air Force and international customers, however, the program does not include the F-16E/F Block 60, as it is already equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 AESA Radar.
The F-16 has eleven weapon stations (hardpoints) and is capable of carrying a wide range of ordnance. The aircraft is equipped with an M61-A1 Vulcan 20mm six-barreled gatling gun and carries AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles (AIM-9X Sidewinder projected), AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-7 Sparrow, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-158 JASSM, GBU-31/38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs as well as several other types of ordnance. For more detail, see specifications below.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a light weight, high performance, multi-role fighter capable of performing a broad spectrum of tactical air warfare tasks at affordable cost well into the 21st century. F-16 aircraft provide a high-performance air-to-air and air-to-surface attack capability.
FY 13 provides $17.6M for F-16 aircraft modifications, support equipment and spares. FY 13 procurement is unaffected by sequestration. The primary modification budgeted for FY 2013 is the Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap) depot-level upgrade program. Engineering test, analysis, and field experience indicate that under current operational usage, the F-16 will not reach the 8,000 hour service life needed to support force structure plans. This shortfall is due to structural fatigue driven primarily by usage severity and gross weight, which have both increased significantly over design parameters with the incorporation of new systems and capabilities. Falcon STAR will replace or rework known life-limited structures to preclude the onset of widespread fatigue damage, maintain safety of flight, enhance aircraft availability, and extend the life of affected components to 8,000 hours.
FY 14 provides $15.4M for F-16 aircraft modifications, support equipment and spares.
Continues Falcon STAR (see above). The primary modification in FY 2014 is the Upgrade of aircraft maintenance training devices.
These devices support critical initial skills and supplemental training.
Upgrades are necessary to ensure concurrency with aircraft systems.
For more information, click to see the Complete FY2014 F-16 Budget.
Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin Corp.,
and Northrop Grumman Corp.
Last Update: September 16, 2013.
By Joakim Kasper Oestergaard /// (email@example.com)
Lockheed Martin's F-16 Site: F-16 Fighting Falcon
Northrop Grumman: AN/APG-68 Radar System
Northrop Grumman: AN/APG-80 AESA Radar (F-16E/F)
YouTube: F-16 Fighting Falcon | YouTube
Fact Sheet: Lockheed Martin | F-16 Fighting Falcon
F-16 U.S. Defense Budget Charts:
Primary Function: Multi-role fighter