Both the Czech Republic and Hungary have officially announced that they cannot afford new fighter aircraft.
More than 5, 000 troops backed by air power have begun an assault against Kurdish guerrillas in a mountain stronghold in eastern Turkey, security officials said on Thursday.
The New Zealand Govt has just announced that it will lease-buy the28 Pakistani F16s. New Zealand's minority government on Tuesday opted to acquire 28 barely used fighters from the United States, saying it would make a huge savings by leasing planes unwanted by the Pentagon. The 10-year lease for the F-6A/B fighters costs about NZ$200 million ($105 million). The Vipers have to replace New Zealand's 19 aging, subsonic A-4 Skyhawk strike planes. This move should save NZ$431 million over the cost of buying new planes next century. The government opted to acquire the F-16s under a lease-buy deal, with payments spread over 10 years and delivery starting in 30 months. Pakistan originally paid Lockheed Martin for the supersonic fighters in1990, but Congress blocked delivery over concerns about that country's developing nuclear capacity.
Six Kunsan F-16s deployed to Peya Lebar Republic of Singapore Air Force Base, Singapore, last month in support of Commando Sling, an ongoing cooperative effort of air combat training between the U.S. and Republic of Singapore Air Forces.
The United States announced Tuesday it had offered to sell 30 F-15and 60 F-16 fighter jets to Israel for $5 billion to help maintain the Middle East ally's advantage over potential foes.
The United States announced on Wednesday it had offered to sell $2 billion in sophisticated aircraft armament to the United Arab Emirates. The Defense Department said the potential sale, which would require final approval from the Gulf Arab ally, would include 491 AIM-120B AMRAAM Missiles, 267 AIM-9M Sidewinder, 163 AGM-88 Harm, 1, 163AGM-65D/G Maverick, 52 AGM-84 Harpoon, laser guided bombs, 20mm ammunition and other weaponry. The Emirates, one of a group of moderate Gulf states allied with the United States, has indicated it plans to purchase 80 Lockheed Martin Corp. fighter jets.
Israel's Defense Ministry confirmed on Tuesday Israel and Turkey will hold a first joint air force exercise but said no date had been set for the maneuver. The London-based Jane's Defense Weekly said in its latest issue the two countries would stage a six-day air exercise in Israeli airspace starting on Sunday with the participation of Turkish F-16s. Israel and Turkey signed a military cooperation agreement in 1996 that allows both countries to use each other's airspace for training. The agreement has drawn fire from Arab and Islamic countries in the region.
Nine C-130s from Ramstein's 37thAirlift Squadron delivered equipment and people as part of Operation Lion Drop IV -- a joint mass tactical exercise conducted with the U.S. Army's Southern European Task Force.
Air Combat Command officials released the Aircraft Accident Investigation Report Sept. 1 on the March 23 F-16C gear-collapse incident on the runway at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The aircraft was from the 4thFighter Squadron. The report concluded the accident was caused by the pilot, Lt. Col. John Burgess Jr., failing to properly control his descent rate during landing. The rapid descent occurred during a late turn to line up with the runway. The left main gear collapsed upon touchdown causing the aircraft to skid down the runway. Sparks from the aircraft, along with leaking fuel, resulted in a portion of the jet catching fire. The pilot ejected from the aircraft, suffering minor injuries. Burgess was returning to Hill from a training mission focusing on night aerial refueling and procedures for dropping laser-guided bombs.
On of NASA's two F-16XL aircraft has been equipped with the digital Flight Control System of a Block40 F-16. The Digital FCS replaces the aircraft's analog F-16A/B-style system.
About 700 US Block 40 and Block 50 F-16s will be modified under the Common Configuration Implementation Program. CCIP will bring the aircraft to production Block 50 standard, which will enhance reliability and increase operational versatility.
Reserve F-16 fighter units from Luke AFB, Ariz., and Homestead Air Reserve Station, Fla., are set to deploy to Turkey in the spring to take part in Operation Northern Watch, the enforcement of the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. Reserve officials said that deployment should be the last of its kind because the Air Force will transition to the new Expeditionary Aerospace Force late next year.
The new Dutch government is considering the first major scaling back of the armed forces since 1993 as it seeks to cut the defense budget by 375 million guilders ($184. 8 million) per year.
Another record has been set in the F-16. Major Mike Brill
became the first pilot to reach 4, 000 flight hours in the Fighting Falcon. He achieved this milestone on August 21, 1998, in a Block 30 F-16C at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Capt. Erik Pettyjohn was selected by Lockheed Martin to receive the 1998 Joe Bill Dryden Semper Viper Award for his heroic actions in operation Northern Watch.