The F-16 Fighting Falcon was produced by General Dynamics who became Lockheed who then merged with Martin Marietta to become Lockheed Martin. The F-16 entered service in January 1979 as a multi-role jet fighter that evolved into an all-weather multi-role aircraft capable of sustaining 9-g turns. The F-16 is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain so the U.S. and 25 other countries added it to their inventory. The Fighting Falcon is referred to by its pilots as the “Viper” and will remain in USAF service until 2025.
In the summer of 1979 the RNLAF received their first F-16 wearing standard operational colors and displayed it to the public on September 15th. In 1983 the first special paint scheme was added to a 322 Squadron F-16. In 2009 J-015 replaced J-055 as the Demo aircraft and was adorned with the “Orange Lion” scheme representing the Coat of Arms of the Dutch Royal Family. The 2007 through 2009 demo seasons aircrafts were piloted by Flt Lt Ralph "Sheik" Aarts. J-015 was received by the RNLAF in August 1991.
General specifications F-16 Fighting Falcon
Some F-16s received an MLU (Mid Life Upgrade) which comprised an improved cockpit and electronics. Any aircraft that received the MLU were designated F-16AM/BM
Primary Function – Multi-role fighter
Manufacturer – General Dynamics Corp. / Lockheed Martin Corp.
Initial Unit cost - F-16C/D, $20 million plus
First Deployed - January 1979 (F-16A)
Crew – 1 x F-16C / 1 or 2 x F-16D
Power Plant - F-16C/D
1 x Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229
1 x General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust - F-16C/D / 27,000 lb (12,150 kg)
Length - 49 ft, 5 in (14.8 m)
Height - 16 ft (4.8 m)
Wingspan - 32 ft, 8 in (9.8 m)
Speed - 1,500 mph (Mach 2 @ altitude)
Ceiling - Above 50,000 ft (15 km)
Maximum Takeoff Weight - 37,500 lb (16,875 kg)
Range - Greater than 2,425 mi (2,100 nm / 3,900 km)
Combat Radius F-16C
851.6 mi (1,370 km / 740 nm) w/ 2 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 U.S. gal external tanks
391.3 mi (630 km / 340 nm) w/ 4 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 340 U.S. gal external tanks
230.2 mi (370 km / 200 nm) + 2 hr. 10 min. patrol w/ 2 x AIM-7 + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 lb U.S. gal
1 x M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon with 500 rounds
External stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles
Conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions
Electronic countermeasure pods.