Tag Archives: F-16 Fighting Falcon

Awesome footage shows Belgian F-16s of the 350 (F) Sqn at work during Red Flag, Cold Response, FWIT and more!

The 350th Squadron of the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces turned 75 today. And here’s a cool footage of its F-16 Fighting Falcon jets at work around the world.

The 350th Squadron of the Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces was created on Nov. 12, 1941 at Valley airfield, Wales, during the Second World War, when it operated under British command as No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron RAF and flew the Spitfire painted with the letter codes MN.

The Squadron became famous in several operations like the Raid on Dieppe in August 1942, operation Overlord in Normandy in June 1944, the Battle of the Bulge and the Campaign of Holland and Germany.

After the war, the Squadron remained in occupied Germany for a short time, before heading back home to Beauvechain, Belgium, in 1946 flying the Supermarine Spitfire MK XIV.

Aircraft flown by 350 (F) Sqn include the Gloster Meteor, the Hawker Hunter, the CF-100 Canuck and the F-104 Starfighter.

In March 1980, the Squadron started its conversion on the new F-16, being operational as from January 1982. 350 moved to Florennes Air Base in 1996 where it would ensure its role of Air Defense together with 349 (F) Squadron stationed at Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium.

During the subsequent years, the pilots of 350 Sqn and their F-16s actively took part in several operations such as Joint Falcon, Allied Force, Deliberate Force, operations part of the Balkan Air War, flying Combat Air Patrol, Offensive Counter Air and Air Interdiction missions.

In 2005, the Squadron was deployed for the first time in Afghanistan, operating for 6 months from Kabul Air Base and later on from Kandahar, in support to ISAF troops.

The latest operations include Unified Protector in Libya out of Araxos, Greece and operation Desert Falcon in Iraq out of Jordan.

Currently, the Squadron is flying the updated F-16 MLU, equipped with the AIM-120 AMRAAM and the AIM-9 Sidewinder. In the air-to-ground role, the Belgian Vipers can be armed with the latest GPS guided or Laser guided bombs such as the GBU-54.

The following video celebrates the 75th anniversary of 350 Sqn with footage filmed during Red Flag, Cold Response (Norway), Belgium, Netherlands, FWIT (Fighter Weapons Instructor Training) course and much more.

Happy Birthday, 350!

H/T to Thieu De Reyean for sending this over to us!



Ryanair denies claims that two Israeli F-16s almost collided with one of its Boeing 737s

Ryanair denies any near miss between one of its Boeing 737 passenger airplanes and two Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jets.

On Mar. 1, 2016 two Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 Fighting Falcons involved in a training exercise over the Negev desert converged on the flight path of a Ryanair Boeing 737 on landing approach at Ovda airport in Israel.

Several media outlets claimed that the two IAF fighter jets came “dangerously close” to the Ryanair aircraft, which had 162 passengers on board, and that a mid-air collision was prevented only thanks to the airliner pilot who changed the course of his aircraft at the very last moment.

But as reported by TimesofIsrael.com, Ryanair denied any claim of a near-miss.

According to the airline, the flight from Krakow to Ovda was cruising at 27,000 ft in Israeli airspace when the aircrew noticed two IAF F-16s climbing towards their flight path.  As pointed out by a Ryanair statement, the two fighters remained at “3 miles away from the aircraft, so the reports of a ‘nearly crash’ or ‘evasive manoeuvres’ are all false and invented.”

The airline also added that the Ryanair aircrew alerted the Air Traffic Control which vectored the F-16s away from their Boeing 737.

“All passengers on board the Ryanair aircraft noticed nothing, since our aircraft never diverted from its cleared flight path to Ovda.”

Although no injures or damages were reported, Israel’s Transportation Ministry and the Israeli Air Force will investigate the matter.

Image credit: Israeli Air Force


Gorgeous photo shows an Aggressors’ F-16 preparing for take off shortly after sunrise

An Aggressors’ F-16 prepares to take off to participate in training exercise.

Captured shortly after sunrise on Jan. 24, 2016, the gorgeous photo in this post shows an F-16 Fighting Falcon belonging to the 18th Aggressor Squadron preparing for take off from Eielson Air Force Base.

The aircraft in the picture was taking part in training exercise Forceful Tiger at Kadena Air Base, Japan, that gathered ,ore than 150 maintainers from the 354th Fighter Wing to keep the Aggressors in the air and prepare U.S. Airmen, Sailors and Marines for contingency operations along with coalition partners in the Pacific theater.

Aimed to demonstrate the 18th Wing’s combat capabilities to defend Okinawa, Forceful Tiger was a large force exercise (LFE) during which a total of 132 aircraft, including 65 F-15 Eagles, 14 F-16 Fighting Falcons, 32 F-22 Raptors, one E-3 Sentry and 20 USMC F/A-18 Hornets, were involved.

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Shawn Nickel / U.S. Air Force


Stunning pictures show U.S. F-16s conducting a night elephant walk in South Korea

Some impressive images captured at Kunsan Air Base during a recent elephant walk exercise.

Taken on Feb. 3, 2016 these striking photos feature U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons from 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons of the 8th Fighter Wing Wolf Pack, performing a night elephant walk at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea during exercise Beverly Pack 16-2.

8th FW Elephant Walk

As we have already explained elephant walk exercises are conducted to test squadrons ability to launch a large formation of aircraft with little notice.

Beverly Pack 16-2 is jointly conducted with Republic of Korea Air Force and is aimed to demonstrate the U.S. ability of responding to wartime and armistice threats in the Korean Peninsula.

Elephant Walks are quite frequent in South Korea and are an interesting show of force in response to the North Korea’s aggressive posture. But they are not the only way Washington flexes muscles at Pyongyang: on Jan. 10, following North Korea’s nuclear test, a U.S. Air Force B-52 from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, performed a low-level flight over Osan Air Base, South Korea.

Night Elephant Walk

Image credit: Staff Sgt. Nick Wilson / U.S. Air Force


This Infographic Sums Up the USAF contribution to Operation Desert Storm

The Gulf War in 1991 was the first to feature stealth and space use by the U.S. Air Force.

The First Gulf War kicked off on Jan. 17, 1991.

In order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. Air Force has released an infographic that sums up the contribution of the air branch to the war in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

Although several air arms belonging to a wide coalition took part in the Operation against Saddam Hussein’s forces, the bulk of the sorties was provided by the USAF that unleashed its F-117 stealth jets in real combat sorties for the first time (at least publicly).

The figures provided are pretty interesting: they show that the majority of the sorties were flown by support assets (KC-135 tankers and C-130 cargo planes) and that, among the tactical planes, the F-16s, deployed in very large numbers and undertaking a variety of missions, conducted most sorties (almost 14,000).

Click below to download the infographic in hi-rez.

Desert Storm infographic hi-rez

Credit: U.S. Air Force


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