|This page is about the American jet fighter F-16A. For other versions, see F-16 (Family).|
The first production version of the Fighting Falcon was the F-16A/B variants, with the F-16A being the single-seat version and the F-16B featuring two seats. The F-16 Block 10 retained the F100-PW-200 engine featured in the Block 1 and 5 versions of the F-16. However, the Block 10 was largely unchanged compared to the earlier versions but did involve the colour of the radome changing. Earlier versions had a black radome and in mock dogfights, pilots noticed how easy it was to spot an F-16 due to the colour. The Block 10 radome was changed to gray and the Block 1 and 5 were upgraded to Block 10 standards. Over 150 Block 10s were produced and some were later modified for ground attack.
Introduced in Update "Apex Predators", the F-16A Block 10 Fighting Falcon is an incredibly dangerous dogfighter but lacking in some departments. Firstly, the Block 10 lacks radar missiles which greatly hinders its ability to engage long-range targets. Furthermore, it can only carry six AIM-9Ls which can be relatively easy to flare off. However, they do have range which is a big plus over a big furball. The F-16A Block 10 can also carry a wide variety of suspended armament like GBU-8s or Mavericks. Players will be satisfied with its performance and overall capability even if it has no radar missiles.
The F-16A has excellent performance. It excels in low-speed dogfighting and can hold its own at higher speeds. It's also one of the fastest fighters in-game with an astounding 2,156 km/h (1,347.5 mph) top speed. In addition, it also weighs 300 kg (661 lbs), less than the F-16A ADF which is a noticeable difference in dogfights. The F-16 is very weight sensitive so players should be wary of engaging in dogfights with a lot of fuel. Overall, the F-16 is an incredibly dangerous aircraft in dogfights and is no slouch even at higher speeds.
|Characteristics|| Max speed
(km/h at 10,973 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear||Drogue chute|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 680||< 750||< 700||-|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220||1||7,690 kg||392 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with internal fuel (no weapons load)|
|Weight (each)||Type||8m fuel||20m fuel||29m fuel|
|1,470 kg||Afterburning low-bypass turbofan||8,662 kg||9,913 kg||10,930 kg||16,849 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||8m fuel||20m fuel||29m fuel||MGW|
|Stationary||6,490 kgf||8,985 kgf||1.04||0.90||0.82||0.53|
|Optimal|| 7,434 kgf
| 15,225 kgf
Survivability and armour
The F-16A is not very survivable because it has no armour plates. It becomes very difficult to fly when missing a wing or tail like most other aircraft. It only has one engine so if it is knocked out it will be very difficult to return to the airfield.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)||Lead indicator|
The F-16A is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon, wing root-mounted (512 rpg)
- 60 x countermeasures
The F-16A can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
|500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs||3||3, 6||1||3, 6||3|
|500 lb Mk 82 Snakeye bombs||3||3, 6||1||3, 6||3|
|2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs||1||1||1||1|
|2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 Air bombs||1||1||1||1|
|2,000 lb GBU-8 bombs||1||1||1||1|
|BLU-27/B incendiary bombs||1||1||1||1|
|FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets||57||57|
|AGM-65B missiles||1, 3||1, 3|
|AIM-9J Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|300 gal drop tanks||1|
| Maximum permissible loadout weight: 5,420 kg|
Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 2,000 kg
|Default weapon presets|
Usage in battles
The F-16A can be a powerful fighter with multiple playstyles, one option being to simply rush straight into battle. Players who plan to stay low and accelerate straight into action will be satisfied with the F-16's low-altitude performance and radar. A mixed countermeasure loadout (1 flare, 1 chaff) is recommended because it allows 30 countermeasure drops against radar or IR missiles. To be prepared for matches that may extend longer than usual, select the 30-minute fuel option in conjunction with the 300-gallon drop tank, or the full tank of 41 minutes. The F-16 consumes a lot of fuel on afterburner, so it's essential to use it wisely unless the max fuel amount is selected. If low fuel maneuverability is desirable, bringing 20 minutes on smaller maps and 30 minutes on larger maps is viable, but this requires management of fuel (i.e. "halfterburner" or using the scroll wheel to partially engage afterburner).
Players can carry up to 6 AIM-9Ls. If a player finds themselves above the fight, it will be effortless to fire off missiles at distracted enemies and score kills quickly. AIM-9Ls are very strong from the rear aspect and require hard defending from the opponent to evade successfully;
The F-16 is very strong in a dogfight due to its excellent TWR and energy retention. Before entering a dogfight, it's critical to be careful of how many Gs are pulled during turns. If entering a dogfight too quickly, then the pilot can pass out. While ameliorable, this doesn't completely solve the issue, as the F-16 pulls many Gs at most speeds—up to 13 in most cases.
Countering the MiG-29
The MiG-29 is a very versatile and capable fighter and will be one of the most common enemies you will face. However, like many planes, it's possible to counter it. It's one of the fastest jets on the deck (~1,550 km/h, 963 mph) and has access to a helmet-mounted sight, which allows the player to lock the missile in the direction of the pilot's view rather than just along the nose of the aircraft. This allows for off-bore missile launches which can be a threat. It's important to be on the lookout all the time for any missile launches, whether it be an R-60M or an R-27T.
At high speeds the Mig-29 (all variants except SMT) has a slight advantage in terms of maneuverability. However, at low speeds, the F-16 can easily gain position on the MiG-29 thanks to its superior low-speed handling. The MiG-29 does bleed speed very quickly however it won't be able to pull as hard at lower speeds and this is where the F-16 shines.
The MiG-29 at high altitude can be dangerous if the opponent utilizes R-27ERs. The R-27ER has superb range, acceleration, and maneuverability. To counter this, stay on the lookout for MiG-29s and R-27ERs, using both the Mk 1 Eyeballs and RWR, and be prepared to go into a notch position and drop chaff. Another strategy to evade radar missiles is to hug the ground. Radar missiles are susceptible to multipathing which is when radar waves bounce off the ground and display ghost returns. Missiles like the R-27ER have seekers to mitigate this but can still be affected by this phenomenon if the target is low enough. The R-27ER burns for 8 seconds which allows it to be spotted for a long time before the motor burns out.
The R-27ET is similar to the R-27ER, but it requires an IR lock before firing. The tradeoff for this is that the R-27ET is near undetectable after the rocket motor has burnt out, only making its presence known moments before taking the F-16 out of a fight. Its flare resistance is also quite good, so simply dropping countermeasures from a rear aspect shot of the R-27ET is borderline undodgeable. The missile is relatively easy to flare from the front, and the missile shares rocket motors with the R-27ER, so dropping countermeasures if either R-27ER/ET is noticed is desirable.
The R-73 boasts long motor burn, high maximum g load, and one of the best flare resistances in-game, only beaten by the R-27T/ET, and AIM-9M (which is highly conditional). Its flare resistance is also highly supported by its small FOV after launch, 0.5 degrees, making it hard for the missile to see flares in the first place. For example, an F-14 nearly fills out the seeker's head within roughly 2km. This results in the missile being nigh impossible to spoof by countermeasures unless they are dropped in large bursts. To top it all off, the R-73 is cueable by the MiG-29's helmet-mounted sight, leading to high off-boresight (HOB) shots. This doesn't make the missile unbeatable, however, as the missile's thrust vectoring prevents the missile from going very fast, and once the rocket motor burns out, the missile bleeds its speed quickly, soon struggling to stay in the air as seen with its dolphining and occasional tumbling out of the sky. The R-73's flare resistance, while still better than its contemporaries such as the AIM-9L and Python 3, is still relatively flareable if the missile is fired from frontal aspect or from further ranges.
The MiG-29SMT itself manoeuvres much worse than the MiG-29 (9-12A) and (9-13), and should be easily beaten by the F-16A in a dogfight. However the R-73 missile can be very dangerous in a dogfight, constant awareness is needed for a chance to defeat the R-73 at close ranges by releasing countermeasures.
Pros and cons
- High thrust-to-weight ratio gives it an incredible acceleration
- Highly manoeuvrable
- Able to carry a drop tank to extend flight time
- Access to 6 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
- Has access to a wide range of air-to-ground loadouts
- Vulcan cannon has excellent rate of fire and damage
- Does not have access to SARH missiles, limiting its BVR performance
- Very sensitive to weight changes
- Can compress at very high speeds
- No drogue chute
- Cannon ammo is limited (5.12 seconds of firing time)
Two projects from Northrop and General Dynamics reached the final of the LWF (LightWeight Fighter) competition to create a new light fighter for the US Air Force. In January 1975, the winner of the competition was the YF-16, developed by General Dynamics. Intense testing continued after the launch of the F-16A fighter into series, and was completed only in 1978. The new generation fighter was designed for Mach 2 speeds and was able to perform maneuvers at 9G overloads, which was even higher than the requirements declared in the competition. The F-16A took her full-scale baptism of fire in service with the Israeli Air Force over Lebanon in the early 80s. The jet fighters were also used against ground targets during Operation Desert Storm. Consistently improving, the F-16A fighters are being produced and modernized to this day. In addition to the United States, a number of foreign countries have become operators of the F-16A Fighting Falcon fighters, including Belgium, Israel, Pakistan, Italy, Indonesia and others. Fighters are produced both domestically and under license.
- From Devblog
- Related development
|General Dynamics Corporation|
|Jet Fighters||F-16A · F-16A ADF · F-16C|
|Export||Netz · Barak II · ▄F-16A ADF · ␗F-16A MLU · F-16AJ|
|USA jet aircraft|
|F-4||F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II|
|F-5||F-5A · F-5C · F-5E|
|F-8||F8U-2 · F-8E|
|F-80||F-80A-5 · F-80C-10|
|F-84||F-84B-26 · F-84F · F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35|
|F-89||F-89B · F-89D|
|F-104||F-104A · F-104C|
|F-14||F-14A Early · F-14B|
|F-16||F-16A · F-16A ADF · F-16C|
|F9F||F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8|
|FJ-4||FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232|
|Other||P-59A · F2H-2 · F3D-1 · F3H-2 · F4D-1 · F11F-1 · F-100D|
|A-4||A-4B · A-4E Early|
|A-7||A-7D · A-7E · A-7K|
|AV-8||AV-8A · AV-8C|
|A-10||A-10A · A-10A Late|
|B-57||B-57A · B-57B|