The squadron received their first F-16s in December of 2007. These came from TUSAS in Turkey from where these airframes received the MLU upgrade. Originally, these F-16s were delivered to Jordan as ADF versions in 2003. Since they were to be upgraded, they were stored in anticipation of the upgrade.
Together with these aircraft coming off the upgrade line at TUSAS, Jordan signed other agreements with both Belgium and the Netherlands covering up to 22 F-16s – being 12 A-models and 10 B-models under the Peace Falcon III and IV programs. These airframes were already upgraded with the MLU package, giving the Jordanian Air Force an immediate boost in its air power capacities. Delivery of these airframes took place in 2008 and 2009. Another deal with the Belgian government – dubbed Peace Falcon V – hasn’t come to fruition till now. If it does, another 9 A-model MLU upgraded Vipers will be added to the Jordanian inventory.
Besides the standard air defence role, the Jordan’s have initiated a multirole concept to their F-16 MLU fleet. Evidently, these fighters mean a quantum leap in possibilities over their older F-5 and Mirage F-1 predecessors. Although not fully equipped to take on an attack and interdiction role, the aircraft are equipped to do so. Adding an advanced targeting pod (like the AN/AAQ-38 Sniper) and the addition of GBU-type weapons would further enhance this role. Whether these elements will be added in the future depends largely on the stand of Israel towards these kinds of weapon systems.
RJAF F-16AM #152
seen landing at Aviano AB on March 19th, 2009, during a stopover before continuing onto Jordan. This aircraft is ex-BAF #FA-90
. [Photo by Marco Sommacal