The squadron started receiving their first F-16s in 1989. These were of the block 15 type, replacing the venerable F-4 in the air defense and attack roles. The block 15 airframes weren’t exactly suited to the dedicated air defense mission the squadron was tasked to. This was quickly fixed with the Air Defense Fighter (ADF) upgrade these airframes received during 1990. This featured the addition of a CWI module on the APG-66 radar, a search light on the port side of the nose, more adapted communication equipment, an Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) system and the possibility to fire AIM-7 or the later AIM-120 missiles.
During this time the 194th FS also had an alert detachment at George AFB. This base was closed in 1992 due to the overall downsizing after the Cold War and the alert detachment moved to March AFB.
In 1995 the squadron transitioned to the more modern block 25 type. This featured an upgraded APG-68 radar, a fully glass cockpit and some other additions. Main advantage for the 194th FS in the field of the air defense mission were an advanced usage of the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) capacity. In the attack mission the advanced features of the APG-68 radar made precision attacks by day and night possible.
After having flown for 11 years with the block 25 airframes, a number of those came to the end of their operational lifespan. It was therefore decided that the airframes of the 194th FS were to be replaced with more modern examples. More modern is quite relative since the airframes they received were of the block 32 type. The conversion to these block 32 models started in December of 2006 and was gradually completed by the end of 2007. IOC on the type was reached in early 2008 with regular missions being flown again.