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Lockheed F-16C Fighting Falcon 83-1128, Close Air Support (CAS) VIPERS
General Background
The F-16 Fighting Falcon was produced by General Dynamics who became Lockheed who then merged with Martin Marietta to become Lockheed Martin. The F-16 entered service in January 1979 as a multi-role jet fighter that evolved into an all-weather multi-role aircraft capable of sustaining 9-g turns. The F-16 is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain so the U.S. and 25 other countries added it to their inventory. The Fighting Falcon is referred to by its pilots as the "Viper"; and will remain in USAF service until 2025.
The Aircraft
An attempt to replace the A-10 Thunderbolt II with a modified version of the F-16 was started in the 1980's. 83-1128 and six other Block F-16Cs were designated A-16s and painted a charcoal lizard scheme. They would be dedicated to CAS (Close Air Support) and BAI (Battlefield Air Interdiction) equipped with strengthened wing structures to accommodate 7.62 mm mini-pods or other anti-tank weapons and a 30mm cannon. Interior components on the left side of the fuselage were singed from the cannon heat so the project ended.
Specifications :
Role: Multi-role fighter
Manufacturer : General Dynamics Corp. / Lockheed Martin Corp
Initial Unit cost : F-16C/D, $20 million plus
First Deployed : January 1979
(F-16A)Crew : 1 x F-16C / 1 or 2 x F-16D
Power Plant : F-16C/D
1 x Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or
1 x General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust : F-16C/D / 27,000 lb (12,150 kg)
Length: 49 ft, 5 in (14.8 m)
Wingspan 32 ft 8 in (9.8 m)
Height: 16 ft (4.8 m)
Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 @ altitude)
Ceiling: Above 50,000 (15 km)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 lb (16,875 kg)
Range: Greater than 2,425 mi (2,100 nm / 3,900 km)
Combat Radius: F-16C 851.6 mi (1,370 km / 740 nm) w/ 2 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 U.S. gal external tanks
391.3 mi (630 km / 340 nm) w/ 4 x 2,000 lb bombs + 2 x AIM-9 + 340 U.S. gal external tanks
230.2 mi (370 km / 200 nm) + 2 hr. 10 min. patrol w/ 2 x AIM-7 + 2 x AIM-9 + 1,040 lb U.S. gal external tanks
Armament: 1 x M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon with 500 rounds
1 x M-61A1 20mm multi-barrel cannon with 500 rounds
External stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles
Conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions
Electronic countermeasure pods.