The combat-proven F-16 has proven itself as the world’s most capable 4th Generation multi-role fighter, serving as the workhorse of the fighter fleet for 28 customers around the world.
The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack, and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D.
U.S. Air Force F-16 multirole fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm; where more sorties were flown than with any other aircraft. These fighters were used to attack airfields, military production facilities, Scud missiles sites and a variety of other targets.
During Operation Allied Force, U.S. Air Force F-16 multirole fighters flew a variety of missions to include; suppression of enemy air defense, offensive counter air, defensive counter air, close air support and forward air controller missions. Mission results were outstanding as these fighters destroyed radar sites, vehicles, tanks, MiGs and buildings.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the F-16 has been a major component of the combat forces committed to the war on terrorism flying thousands of sorties in support of operations Noble Eagle (Homeland Defense), Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom.
The F-16s are an integral part of the Pacific Air Forces power projection based at Osan Air Base Korea and Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.
Visit our “General Dynamic/Lockheed Martin F-16” blog post for more information on this type of aircraft.