F-16 Fighting Falcon

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Product Type:
Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft

Using Service (US):
Air Force (USAF)

Program Status:
No more new aircraft will be purchased.
Focus is on sustainment.

Prime Contractor:
Airframe: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Engine: GE and Pratt & Whitney

The F-16 Fighting Falcon

About the F-16 Fighting Falcon:

By Forecast International /// The following is a snapshot of the F-16 program. For complete data and a forecast outlook, please view our Military Aircraft Forecast


The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single seat, fixed wing, multi-role fighter aircraft powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F100 or General Electric F110 turbofan engine. On the F-16, which is a 4th generation fighter aircraft, advanced technology features include a blended wing body, reduced static margin, and fly-by-wire flight control.

The F-16C/D is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68 multi-mode fire control radar. However, new built F-16E/F Block 60 aircraft (not in U.S. inventory) are equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 AESA Radar. U.S. Air Force F-16C/D aircraft can be equipped with the LANTIRN targeting system. The Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) system from Lockheed Martin allows the F-16 to fly at low altitudes, at night and in any weather conditions, to attack ground targets. The LANTIRN system gives the F-16 extra accuracy for weapons delivery and consists of two pods (AN/AAQ-13 navigation pod + AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod) attached to the exterior of the aircraft. Also, the F-16 can be equipped with the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING Targeting Pod from Northrop Grumman and UTC Aerospace Systems' (UTAS) DB-110 Reconnaissance Pod.

On April 3, 2012, the 4,500th F-16, an F-16C Block 52, rolled off the assembly line in Forth Worth, TX. To date, more than 4,550 F-16s have been produced and delivered to 28 countries. The F-16 is a highly maneuverable aircraft which has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. The F-16 provides a low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and its allies.

The F-16A (single-seat) first flew on December 8, 1976 and the first production F-16 was accepted by the Air Force in August 1978. The F-16B (two-seat) has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. The bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. For training purposes, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit. All aircraft delivered since November 1981 are F-16C/D variants. They have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multi-role flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two-seat) Fighting Falcons incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active, Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFR) units have been converted to the F-16C/D configurations.

The F-16 program traces its history back to the Advanced Day Fighter requirement and later the Light Weight Fighter (LWF) program, and the Air Combat Fighter (ACF) program. On January 13, 1975, the Air Force selected the General Dynamics YF-16 as the winner of the ACF contest. The YF-16 was selected over the Northrop YF-17. Initially, five manufacturers had submitted proposals to build the LWF: Boeing, Northrop, General Dynamics, Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV), and Lockheed. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business, which included the F-16 production center and final assembly line in Fort Worth, TX, to Lockheed Corporation (now Lockheed Martin). The F-16 was built under an international agreement creating a consortium between the U.S. and the four NATO countries of Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. These countries jointly produced (with the United States) an initial 348 F-16 fighters for their respective air forces. The consortium's F-16s were assembled from components manufactured in all five countries, while final airframe assembly lines were located in Belgium and the Netherlands. Belgium also provided final assembly of the Pratt & Whitney F100 engine used in the European F-16s.


The F-16 has eleven weapon stations (hardpoints) and is capable of carrying a wide range of ordnance. The aircraft is equipped with an M61A1 Vulcan 20mm six-barreled gatling gun and carries AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles (incl. AIM-9X), AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-7 Sparrow, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-158 JASSM, GBU-31/38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) and GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs as well as several other types of ordnance.


The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a light weight, high performance, multi-role fighter capable of performing a broad spectrum of tactical air warfare tasks at affordable cost well into the 21st century. F-16 aircraft provide a high-performance air-to-air and air-to-surface attack capability.

FY 2021 & FY 2022 - F-16 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Lockheed Martin Corp.,
Northrop Grumman Corp., and F-16.net.

Military Aircraft Forecast:

Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Military Aircraft Forecast.

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2018, FY 2019, FY 2020, FY 2021 and FY 2022 + 5-year forecast

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Military Aircraft Forecast