An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Fighter

Last updated: 22 Sep 2021

The F-16A is a single seat model, single-engine multi-role jet fighter aircraft with superior maneuverability and sophisticated tracking and weapon systems for the interception and attack of other aircraft. The F-16B is a two-seat version typically used for training by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit. This aircraft is considered to be the most agile modern fighter and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack.

In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fight aircraft. This aircraft can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. The cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision, and greatly improved vision over the side and to the rear. The seat-back angle was expanded from the usual 13 degrees to 30 degrees, increasing pilot comfort and gravity force tolerance.

The F-16 also provides excellent flight control through its "fly-by-wire" system, side-stick controller, highly accurate inertial navigation system, UHF/VHF radios, instrument landing system, AN/APG-66/68 radar warning system, and modular countermeasure pods. The aircraft also has a M61A1 20mm six-barrel cannon, two wingtip Sidewinder or Sparrow air-to-air missiles to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats and extra space in the fuselage for additional avionics systems.


In designing the F-16, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the F-15 and F-111 were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight. The light weight of the fuselage is achieved without reducing its strength. With a full load of internal fuel, the F-16 can withstand up to nine G's, nine times the force of gravity, that exceeds the capability of other current fighter aircraft. y

All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit the multi-role flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. Presently, these aircraft are assigned to The Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (Top Gun) located at NAS Fallon, Nevada.



General Characteristics
Contractor: Manufactured by General Dynamics Corp., and Lockheed Martin.
Date Deployed: First Flight F-16A: December 8, 1976; First Flight F-16B: August 8, 1977.
Propulsion: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 turbofan engine of 23,000 pounds static sea level thrust each with afterburner.
Length: 47 feet 8 inches (14.52 m).
Height: 16 feet 5 inches (5.01 m).
Wingspan: 31 feet (9.45).
Weight: 33,000 pounds (14,968 kg/loaded). Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 (16,875 kilograms).
Airspeed: 1,319 mph (2123 km/h) at 39, 870 ft (12,000 m).
Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,420 m).
Range: 575 miles (925 km); Maximum Range: 1,260 miles (2027 km).
Crew: F16A: 1; F16B: 2.
Armament: General Electric M61A1 20mm six-barrel cannon and two wingtip Sidewinder or Sparrow air-to-air missiles; nine additional hardpoints capable of carrying up to 15,200 pounds of other stores.


Point of Contact
Naval Air Systems Command
Public Affairs Office

47123 Buse Road
Unit IPT Bldg. 2272
Suite 075
Patuxent River, MD

(301) 757-1487


Google Translation Disclaimer

Guidance-Card-Icon Dept-Exclusive-Card-Icon