Danish F-16 Sports NATO Emblem To Celebrate 75th Anniversary Of North Atlantic Treaty

The F-16 sporting the NATO emblem (Image credit: The Aviationist based on RDAF image)

OTD in 1949, NATO was born. The Royal Danish Air Force celebrated the anniversary by applying the Alliance logo to an F-16.

NATO was born on Apr. 4, 1949, and the transatlantic Alliance celebrated its anniversary at NATO Headquarters in Brussels ahead of the celebrations at the upcoming summit on Jul. 9-11 at Washington, D.C., where its founding treaty was signed.

The 12 founding members and the following 20 nations that have joined the Alliance since its creation have also celebrated the 75th anniversary.

For instance, to mark the milestone, the RDAF has applied the NATO emblem to the tail of one of its Fighting Falcons, the F-16 Block 20 MLU #78-0190/E-190.

“Normally, there is only Dannebrog on the tail of our fighters”, says the Flyvevåbnet on their post on Facebook, highlighting that the Danish Vipers (as the F-16s are normally nicknamed in the fighter pilot community), don’t sport any other insignia other than the flag of Denmark, or “Dannebrog” (which translates to “the cloth of the Danes” or the “red flag”).

The aircraft E-190 with the NATO emblem being applied to the F-16 tail. (Image credit: RDAF)

“But just today it is 75 years since NATO was established, and we naturally thought this was a suitable occasion to supplement the flag on an F-16 with the symbol of the Atlantic Pact – the compass rose.”

Images shared by the RDAF on social media show the F-16AM E-190 from the Fighter Wing Skrydstrup. taking off with the NATO marking.

The Danish F-16s

The Royal Danish Air Force procured a total of 77 F-16A/B aircraft in 2 major batches and 2 attrition replacement orders according to the database of F-16.net. Of these, 43 aircraft all upgraded to MLU standard, were still in the RDAF inventory last year with a plan to retire them all by 2025.

In fact, the RDAF has already started replacing the F-16s with the F-35 making the Vipers available for Ukraine.

On August 17, 2023, the United States approved the transfer of the F-16s from Denmark and the Netherlands to Ukraine as soon as pilot training is completed.

On August 20, 2023, the Netherlands and Denmark announced the transfer of their F-16s and the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said that Denmark will transfer 19 of their 43 F-16s, with the first six to be delivered around the end of the year, followed by eight in 2024 and five in 2025.

Finally, on August 22, the Danish armed forces announced that the training of the first six Ukrainian F-16 pilots had begun. The pilots arrived at Skrydstrup air base along with 65 personnel to be trained in maintaining and servicing the jets. No other details were provided about the length of the training. Based on the previously released info by Denmark and other officials, the first pilots were expected to graduate in early 2024 after at least six months of training.

An air-to-air image of the F-16 E-190. (RDAF)


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.