Fixed, Underneath Inlet
Maneuvering Leading-Edge Flaps
Air Refueling Receptacle
Jet Fuel Starter
Single Vertical Tail
Blended Wing Body
8,000-Hour Service Life
Fly-by-Wire Flight Control System
Stores Carriage Capability
Air Defense/Interceptor | Avionics | Battlefield Air Support | Cockpit | Countermeasures | Defense Suppression | Engines | Fas Forward Air Controller | Maritime Interdiction | Night Attack | Noncombat Roles | Precision Strike/Interdiction | Radar | Reconnaissance | Safety | Support
The F-16 is the recognized champion of close-in aerial combat and is becoming highly respected for its potent beyond-visual-range capability. It is operational with both the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) radar missiles, and uses various methods to identify targets and link target data with other F-16s or with ground- or air-based control stations.
The brains of the F-16’s core avionics system is the modular mission computer, the most cutting-edge computer in an operational fighter today. This advanced processor combines the functions of three computers.
The F-16 has an advanced navigation system consisting of three primary components:
Originally, the F-16 cockpit was designed for single-pilot operations in the dynamic visual combat environment. It has evolved into a truly versatile cockpit to perform the more complex night and in-weather operations, and accommodate the most advanced sensors and weapons.
With the F-16’s cockpit controls and displays, the pilot can perform normal functions without lowering or turning his head or removing his hands from the throttle and side-stick controller.The F-16’s large single-piece bubble canopy with no forward bow frame provides the pilot with the best visibility of any fighter in the world. The 30-degree inclined seat, raised heel rests, and positive pressure breathing system provide the pilot with elevated g tolerance. The reclined seat is comfortable, even on 16-hour transoceanic ferry flights.
The F-16 is fully equipped to deal with a wide range of threats. Radar warning systems analyze incoming signals and identify the type of threat, activity, and direction. F-16 pilots use the aircraft’s low signature to avoid being detected until it is too late for enemy aircraft to effectively engage in battle. However, once attacked, the F-16 pilot employs chaff, towed decoys, and electronic jamming, along with agile maneuvering, to degrade tracking and avoid being hit. Flares are used to decoy infrared homing missiles.The F-16 has a selection of alternative countermeasure suites to fit the particular user. Some air forces use electronic countermeasure pods while others prefer an internal countermeasure set. Some have additional chaff/flare dispensers. Others have integrated suites that provide automatic jamming and chaff dispensing.
The F-16 employs high-speed antiradiation missiles (HARM) and cluster bombs to neutralize or destroy air defense sites. A HARM targeting system pod provides autonomous, reactive antiradar capability. The F-16’s small radar signature, speed, and agility make it a difficult target for air defense sites to counter.
The F-16 features the world’s finest fighter engines. The 24,000-pound-class F100-PW-220 powers the F-16A. The F-16C offers a choice of two 29,000-pound-class engines: the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 or the General Electric F110-GE-129. The forward engine air inlet is sized to optimize the performance of the selected engine. All three engines have electronic engine controls and other advanced technologies that produce
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and other air demonstration teams selected the F-16 because of its outstanding performance and precision handling qualities. It has been used as an advanced adversary aircraft by both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to emulate the latest fighter threats. It is employed as a test support aircraft to train U.S. Air Force test pilots and to fly chase on aircraft undergoing flight tests.It also serves as a primary test bed for generic systems, such as Global Positioning System, LANTIRN, AMRAAM, and airborne self-protection jammer. In addition, the F-16XL, AFTI/F-16, and NF-16 VISTA versions of the F-16 are used as test beds for advanced technologies and integration.
The F-16 has the range, navigation systems, and weapons to reach, locate, and destroy high-value targets. Precision standoff weapons include electro-optical/infrared glide bombs and laser-guided bombs. The F-16 uses systems to track and designate targets for itself or for other aircraft. It is the first fighter to receive a new family of "smart" weapons being developed by the Department of Defense. These weapons will have precision, all-weather capability from standoff ranges. They include the Joint Direct Attack Munition, Joint Standoff Weapon, and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile.
The F-16 is equipped with either the APG-66 (F-16A) or APG-68 (F-16C) Westinghouse multimode radar. Frequently updated, both radars exhibit the latest in radar technology, including a very high-speed integrated circuit signal processor. These radars provide long-range detection and tracking and high-resolution mapping.Future growth may include auto terrain following, advanced aerial target identification, combined and interleaving of modes, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability. SAR provides very high-resolution mapping and target recognition capability compatible with all-weather precision weapons currently in development.
The F-16 is equipped with either the APG-66 (F-16A) or APG-68 (F-16C) Westinghouse multimode radar. Frequently updated, both radars exhibit the latest in radar technology, including a very high-speed integrated circuit signal processor. These radars provide long-range detection and tracking and high-resolution mapping.Future growth may include auto terrain following, advanced aerial target identification, combined and interleaving of modes, and synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability. SAR provides very high-resolution mapping and target recognition capability compatible with all-weather precision weapons currently in development. An assortment of sensor pods provides the F-16 with a reconnaissance capability that does not detract from the aircraft’s inherent capacity for air-to-air or air-to-ground combat. Future enhancements include recording imagery on magnetic tape, reviewing and editing the imagery in-flight, and data-linking imagery to selected agencies in near-real time.
The F-16 continues to be the safest single-engine fighter and safest multirole fighter in U.S. Air Force history.
Cockpit and avionics safety features include situation awareness aids, such as a head-up display, up-front controls, hands-on controls, integrated display formats, bubble canopy, and ground proximity warning system. Multiple communications systems, multiple and precision navigation systems, and an integrated caution/warning system also improve the F-16’s safety. A reclined seat and positive-pressure breathing system increases the F-16 pilot’s g tolerance.
In the engine, safety attributes include a proximate splitter, a jet fuel starter for air starts, and backup engine control. The gun muzzle and nosewheel are located aft of the engine inlet to minimize the potential for foreign object damage. Safety in the aircraft systems includes extensive built-in self-test and fault reporting, antiskid brakes, emergency arresting hook, and optional drag chute.
The F-16’s highly redundant systems, such as flight control, electrical power, hydraulic power and fuel transfer, also improve the aircraft’s safety. With its airframe’s rugged structure, the F-16 is able to fly home after extensive in-flight damage. The F-16 is equipped with a crash-survivable flight data recorder.Performance features, including the aircraft’s short takeoff distance requirement, automatic stall/departure prevention, and low landing speed, all improve the F-16’s safety record The F-16’s extensive logistic support network includes first-class product support from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and the U.S. Air Force, multiple production lines and suppliers, multiple depots, and on-base support for more than 3,000 aircraft at over 80 bases in 22 countries. This exceptional network provides even the smallest air force with worldwide deployability and interoperability in allied operations.
Aviation Banner Exchange (Click Here to Join)