The oldest airframe still flying is RJAF #136
- former BAF #FB-01
- here at its delivery back in January of 1979.
The service life distribution for the global F-16 fleet shows the service life ranging from 1 to 30 years. Surprisingly enough 5 active airframes have a service life of 30 years, making them the oldest F-16s still in service. The average service life of the active F-16 fleet is 17.2 years.
For the active fleet, three major groups can be distinguished. The majority of the airframes have a service life of between 10 and 25 years. These obviously include the F-16A/B aircraft delivered to the USAF and the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF
) nations - Belgium
, the Netherlands
. It als includes the first Foreign Military Sales programs for Israel
. These aircraft were block 1/5/10/15 aircraft and many of these aircraft underwent service life extension or were upgraded. Service Life Extension programs included Falcon Up, Falcon Star and some others. Upgrade programs included the F-16 ADF
(Air Defense Fighter) and F-16 OCU (Operational Capabilities Upgrade) for the USAF, and F-16 MLU
(Mid-Life Update) for the European aircraft.
The second group has a service life of between 10 and 15 years and includes the F-16C/D aircraft. Major customers for these aircraft include the USAF and a number of FMS
prorams for Isreal, Turkey, Egypt and South Korea
. Most of these aircraft are still in service. Service Life Extension programs included - as with the A/B models - Falcon Up and Falcon Star. Upgrade programs included the CCIP
program for the USAF and international customers.
Finally, the third group has a service life of less then ten years and includes the most recently built and advanced F-16 airframes for Israel and the United Arab Emirates
For the inactive fleet we can observe a more or less uniform distribution between 1 and 25 years due to constant attrition. Besides that, there's a significant group of inactive aircraft with a service life of 13 to 16 years. These are aircraft that were collectively retired in 1994 by the Belgian Air Force and USAF.