Edwards AFB is currently testing a new configuration for the Wild WeaselF-16 role. 4 HARMs will be carried on the 4 inner-most wing stations, 1centerline fuel tank, 3 AMRAAMS, 2 on wingtip launchers and 1 on the outer wing hardpoint, 1 AIM-9 on the port outer wing hardpoint. That is believed to be for specific missions, instead of hunting missions.
The Clinton administration released today a $257 billion defense budget for fiscal 1999 that would boost production of the Bell-Boeing V-22Osprey, but contains no orders for Lockheed Martin's F-16 fighter.
Senator James Exon and former US Senator Larry Pressler discussed Washington's offer to sell 26 F-16 fighter planes to the Philippines, which has embarked on an effort to modernize its aging fleet of World WarII-vintage aircraft.
Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF)F-16 fighters used Paveway II (Mk 82) laser-guided bombs for the first time last September. They attacked targets designated by a forward air control team from the Telemark Battalion, the Norwegian Army's contribution to NATO's Immediate Reaction Forces (IRF). The exercise epitomized the changes taking place in the RNoAF under the auspices of `Project Phoenix'. In a program expected to cost NKr4.5 billion ($602.2 million), the RNoAF is also acquiring the AIM-120BAdvanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) - providing a beyond-visual-range air-to-air capability for the first time. Deliveries, under a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract with the USA, began in 1995 and are due for completion in 2000.
Belgium decided to also upgrade the remaining eighteen of their F-16s to MLU standards. They will now have in total 90 MLU F-16s by the year 2003"
The United States has assembled a powerful multi-service force to keep pressure on Iraq in the standoff over U. N. access to suspected weapons sites. About 175 U.S. Air Force aircraft are assigned to the area for air interdiction, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, electronic warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance, combat search and rescue, and command and control of air operations. Among these are six F-117 stealth fighters based in Kuwait and eight B-52 long-range strategic bombers, based on the British Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. Other Air Force assets in the region include 24 F-16CG and F-16CJFighting Falcon ground-attack aircraft and two B-1 supersonic long-range bombers for knocking out armored columns.
The Lockheed Martin F-16 continued to improve its safety record during 1997, ending the calendar year with an annual mishap rate of 2. 7losses per 100, 000 flight hours in U.S. Air Force service.
Lockheed Martin announced that Bahrain has ordered 10 new Block 40 F-16s, to be delivered around 2000.
A total of 117 F-16 aircraft were delivered in 1997, bringing to more than 3, 600 the number of F-16 deliveries since program inception.
The Belgian Air Force decided last week to use Koksijde Air Base (homebase of 40 Sqn, which flies the Sea King and has a SAR tasking) as an deployment base for the F-16. The decision was taken to meet some NATO-requirements. Runway 29-11 and the taxiways will be repaired and upgraded this year to full operational status. The F-16's will use Koksijde for maximum 30 days a year.
Block 40 F-16s at Aviano Air Base, Italy, are being modified to be compatible with night vision goggles. These cockpit changes are part of a total lighting modification to provide Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) compatible lighting to the F-16.
On Thursday 15 January, between 13.00-14.00 hrs, Dutch F-16A-MLU #J-015 (affectionately known as "Farmer's ex-toy") made its last flight.
U.S. military aid to Jordan is expected to go up to $75 million in 1998 from $31 million in 1997, partly to cover the maintenance of 16 F-16 fighter planes the kingdom will get this year -- part of an over $300 million military modernization deal.
The Turkish air force is seeking to buy 40 US-made F-16 fighter aircraft in response to a Greek decision to purchase similar sophisticated warplanes.
Round one in a competition between Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co for a $2 billion Israeli fighter jet order begins next month when the two submit initial offers.