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F-16 Fleet Reports

F-16 aircraft version attrition rate

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This graph shows the attrition rate for each major F-16 version, as percent of the total number of F-16s built of that version. Since early versions have been in active service for a longer amount of time (naturally resulting in a larger number of aircraft lost), the graph also shows the average attrition rate per year of service, allowing us to compare older and newer models side by side. The annualized attrition is simply the total attrition rate divided by the number of service years for a given version.

Disclaimer: This report is generated in real-time from our F-16 Aircraft Database. We strive to keep our database up-to-date and complete, nevertheless for some countries data is hard to verify (e.g. accuracy for the Middle East is only 90%). Please contact us if you have any questions or feedback.

  • Horizontal Axis: The different major versions of the F-16
  • Vertical Axis: Attrition rate as percent of the total number of F-16s built for a particular version
  • Series: The bars show the total attrition rate for each version. The line shows the average annual attrition for each version

Click on the color labels to disable/enable series; click on the zoom icons to zoom in (+) or out (-). Click on the full screen icon to display the graph full screen.


The block 52 is one of the safest F-16 versions around. This Polish F-16D is taking off from Karup AB in Denmark on September 15th, 2009 during Exercise Bold Avenger.
As far as the total attrition rates are concerned, earlier versions have higher fleet attrition then younger models. This is quite obvious, as older models simply have had more service years during which to accumulate attrition. This trend holds true for both A/B and C/D models (A/B and C/D have been built in parallel - the first C/D rolled of the production lines while block 15 aircraft were still being built). Both early A/B models (e.g. block 1/5/10) and early C/D models (block 25/30) show higher total attrition than younger models (block 15/20 and block 40/50 for example). From these numbers it is impossible to conclude that one version is safer than the other, nor is it possible to conclude anything about higher attrition in early models due to crew inexperience.

When you look at the average annual attrition however, it is possible to compare different versions, since the service life factor has been eliminated. From these numbers it is clear that older models do have a larger attrition rate than later models (and again this holds true for both A/B and C/D models). There are two key factors that explain this: design maturity (later models benefit from modifications, fixes and additional safety measures) is one factor; crew experience is the other (early versions suffer higher attrition since crews and air forces are still training and optimizing operational procedures). Without additional data however, it is hard to determine the exact contribution of each factor.

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