A close-up look at the 31FW F-16s performing strafing runs at Ft. Irwin National Training Cent

Mar 23 2016 - 10 Comments

A detailed analysis of a 510FS training mission at Ft. Irwin.

On the afternoon of Feb. 24, The Aviationist’s contributor Eric Rosenwald photographed a flight of two USAF F-16C fighters as they practiced low-altitude strafe runs at Ft. Irwin, California (National Training Center).

They each completed at least 8 passes of a target airfield, periodically dropping to an altitude of less than 500 feet.

The F-16s belonged to the 510th Fighter Squadron of the 31st Fighter Wing, based at Aviano Air Base, Italy deployed to the U.S. to take part in the Red Flag 16-1 air combat exercise.

The infographic below provides some really interesting details about the mission conducted by the “Buzzards” over the range in California.

Ft Irwin Red Flag 2016 F-16-down

  • ‘Tos

    wingtips AMRAMS… is that a common practice these days?

    • sferrin

      “These days”? As long as the F-16 has been able to carry the AIM-120 that’s where they’ve carried them.

    • chris sullivan

      Standard for F-16s, but nobody else does it! An F-18 would likely break its wings if if made a CVN arrested landing with 350 lbs on each wingtip. Don’t think the Gripen does it either. The Rafale carries MICA vice AMRAAM, much lighter missile (100lb less). Some fighters don’t even have wingtip rails- lacking on F-15 & Eurofighter.

    • Doug DeNasty

      Fairly common practice

  • FrankW

    The external fuel tanks under the wings are 370 gallon, not 600-

  • Slimm

    Believe they’re 370 gal, not 600 gal external tanks on 3 & 7

  • Slimm

    AMRAAMS on 1 & 9 has been standard ops since about 1992

  • TractorEngineer

    I think they’re 370 gallon tanks but it’s all good.

  • Max Power

    F-35’s ain’t gonna haul a load like that… not internally, anyway, so what’s the point?

  • What are sniper pods?