425th Fighter Squadron (USAF AETC)

"Black Widows" 

425 FS "Black Widows" (USAF AETC)
Status:
Active
Version: F-16C/D block 52
Role:Training
Tailband: Red & Black
Motto: N/A
Badge: N/A
Training Singaporean F-16 pilots.

Sideways profile for the 425th FS in 2009 with the unit marking on the tail.

F-16 History

Reconstituted on December 30th, 1992 under the 58th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona. Aircraft had already arrived in October of 1992 and shortly after in the new year pilot training began in January of 1993. Right from the beginning the mission was international personnel training, but more specifically, the Republic of Singapore Air Force. Although the squadron had American heritage, it was mix of both personnel and equipment. At first the squadron borrowed F-16A/B block 15s from the USAF in late 1992. This consisted of seven F-16As and two F-16Bs which were all borrowed. Most likely by coincidence, the Royal Singapore Air Force ended up buying one of these F-16As years later that had been borrowed by them from the USAF. On June 3rd, 1998 the RSAF obtained F-16A #81-0677 as a GF-16A for ground maintenance/handling and weapons loading training. To complete the squadron, seven F-16A/Bs were sent from Singapore to join the squadron.


RSAF F-16C block 52 #97-0113 from the 425th FS is parked on the tarmac at Nellis AFB during a 2005 Red Flag exercise. [Photo by Bjarne Pedersen]

On April 1st, 1994 - along with the 310th FS - the 425th FS then came under the 56th Fighter Wing. That number came from MacDill AFB, Florida and was intended to protect the history of that wing and its associated squadrons which also made the move to Luke AFB.

In 1995 the squadron leased twelve USAF F-16C/D block 42s as their nine USAF block 15s were withdrawn from service. The seven F-16A/Bs owned by the RSAF flew back to Singapore during this time period as well. In the end, the USAF could not honor the lease as they needed the block 42s back. A deal was struck with Lockheed Martin to lease a dozen new-built F-16C/D block 52's (4 F-16Cs and 8 F-16Ds) with options to buy them later. The aircraft were leased for a 2.5 year period, for an estimated cost of USD $12.3 million. This program had no name assigned like the Peace Carvin FMS deal. In 1997, under Peace Carvin III, the RSAF's training capabilities in the US expanded, including adding the 428th FS at Canon AFB, New Mexico and an extension of the training contract for Luke till 2018.


RSAF F-16D block 52 #94-0283 from the 425th FS is giving the photographer a nice slow bank at Luke AFB on July 14th, 2006. [Photo by Jason]

Aircraft Markings History

1993 - present

The tailband consists of black with red trim and red lion heads in a row. The lion head is in the same form that is in the RSAF insignia. The tail code is the standard 'LF' seen at Luke AFB but the country insignia is either RSAF or USAF depending on who owns the aircraft.


Unit History

  • 1943: Activation of the squadron in Orlando, Florida
  • 1943: YP-61 (part of 481 NFOTG)
  • 1943: YP-61 (Hammer Field, California)
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (Visalia AAF, California)
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (RAF Charmy Down)
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (part of 471 FW, RAF Scorton)
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (RAF Stoneman Park)
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (Vannes Field [Fra.])
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (Coulommiers Field [Fra.])
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (Prosnes Field [Fra.])
  • 1944: P-61 'Black Widow' (Verdun Field [Fra.])
  • 1945: P-61 'Black Widow' (Frankfurt AP [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-61 'Black Widow' (Furth Field [Germ.])
  • 1945: P-61 'Black Widow' (Lemoore AAB, California)
  • 1946: P-61 'Black Widow' (March Field, California)
  • 1946: P-61 'Black Widow' (McChord Field, Washington)
  • 1947: Disbanded
  • 1969: Activation of the squadron in Williams, Arizona
  • 1969: F-5A/B 'Freedom Fighter' (part of 58 TFTW)
  • 1973: F-5E/F 'Freedom Fighter'
  • 1979: F-5E/F 'Freedom Fighter' (part of 405 TTW)
  • 1989: Disbanded
  • 1992: Activation of the squadron in Luke, Arizona
  • 1992: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 58 FW)
  • 1994: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 56 FW)
  • 1995: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon'

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

Errors and Omissions



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