The 198th FS converted from the A-7D/K to the F-16 in the Air Defense Fighter (ADF) variant in 1992. At that time most ANG units were equipped with this version of the somewhat older A/B models of the viper. Even though the 198th was flying the ADF variant of the F-16, they were trained in the bombing role as well. The ADF version 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. This meant a serious leap in performance and capability of this squadron in their defensive role. In the attack role the airframes kept their basic block 15 features.
The era of the F-16 with the 198th FS didn’t last that long. In 1998 the Staff decided that the squadron would be better suited as an airlift squadron and the unit converted to the C-130E. The 198th sent most of their F-16 airframes to AMARC, where most of them still reside today (2012). All together the F-16 days of the squadron only reached 6 years before transition took place.
USAF F-16A ADF #82-0953
of the 198th FS is parked on the concrete of its home base. [Photo by Alec Fushi]