Features, Types and Tasks
Initially developed by General Dynamics as a light weight dogfighter, the F-16 is now a Lockheed Martin product and has evolved into an all-weather multirole fighter. The F-16 is a supersonic single engine fighter jet with numerous innovations including a bubble canopy, fly-by-wire system, side mounted control stick and smootly blended wing and main fuselage. The F-16 can be refuelled in-flight by the KDC-10 tanker aircraft.
The F-16A and B versions differ in having respectively one and two seats. The Mid-Life Update version is fitted with the Prat and Whitney 220E engine, underwent structural improverments, has improved radar systems and improved computer systems and interfaces including a wide angle Head Up Display and compatibility with night-vision goggles (MLU).
The main tasks of the F-16 are to provide air superiority, provide ground support to allied troops and to carry out precision bombardments and reconnaissance missions. Dutch F-16 are deployed in Afghanistan to provide air support and to detect Improvised Explosive Devices also known as roadside bombs (IEDs).
The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon with 511 rounds of ammo in the left wing root and has 11 hardpoints for mounting weapons and other mission equipment.
The M61 Vulcan is a hydraulically or pneumatically driven, six-barreled, air-cooled, electrically fired Gatling-style rotary cannon which fires 20 mm rounds at a rate of 6000 rounds per minute.
The F-16 has six hardpoints under the wing, two on the wingtips and three under the fuselage for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It can be armed with a mix of AIM-9 Sidewinder short range infrared-guided and AIM-120B AMRAAM medium range radar-guided air-to-air missiles, AGM-65 Maverick infrared-guided Air-to-Ground-Missiles and 2000 pounds GBU-10 and 500 pounds GBU-12 laser-guided bombs.
|Specifications (defensie.nl)||F-16A/B Fighting Falcon MLU|
|Wingspan||10.00 m including Sidewinder missiles|
|Engine||1 Pratt & Whitney 100-PW-220E turbofan|
|Thrust dry / with afterburner||15.000 / 25.000 lbs|
|Weight empty / maximum||11.000 / 16.000 kg|
|Maximum speed||2000 km/hour|
|Flight range||2700 km without aerial refueling|
|Flight ceiling||Maximum 17 km|
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin (previously General Dynamic)|
|Number||Total purchased 213 (177 single-seat and 36 two-seat), now 87|
|In use with||Royal Netherlands Air Force|