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RNoAF F-16s in for new weapons

January 27, 1998 (by Lieven Dewitte) - 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-120B Advanced 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.