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 September 1990 F-16 89-1048 1C-201 was delivered to the USAF. On October 29, 2019; the newly acquired 57th FW / 64 Aggressor Squadron F-16 89-2048 was unveiled wearing an all-black with red markings. The scheme was the top choice of several options that was selected using Facebook and hopefully social media would generate excitement for the project. The aircraft was named “Wraith” which is a ghostly image of someone shortly before or after their death. The 57th FW / 64 Aggressor Squadron is located at Nellis AFB, Las Vegas.
General specifications F-16 Fighting Falcon
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
Length - 49 ft, 5 in (14.8 m) Height - 16 ft (4.8 m) Wingspan - 32 ft, 8 in (9.8 m)
Power Plant - F-16C/D 1 x Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or 1 x General Electric F110-GE-100/129 Thrust - F-16C/D / 27,000 lb (12,150 kg) 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 external tanks
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.