|This page is about the Japanese jet fighter F-16AJ. For other versions, see F-16 (Family).|
The F-16AJ Fighting Falcon represents the proposed introduction of an F-16 closely resembling a YF-16 into JASDF service, as suggested by General Dynamics. The JASDF had plans to select a winner from 13 candidates proposed by different aircraft companies as part of a program to replace its ageing fleet of F-104Js and to serve alongside their F-4EJ aircraft. Ultimately, the program came down to a choice between the F-14, F-15, and F-16 where the F-15 emerged as the victor, becoming the F-15J.
Introduced in Update "Sky Guardians", the F-16AJ is currently one of only two truly multirole F-16s in the game, alongside the ROCAF's F-16A MLU. The F-16AJ also marks the introduction of the AGM-65 series into JASDF service, providing much-anticipated precision air-to-ground weaponry for Japanese pilots. With one of the latest airborne radars in the game and weapon systems mostly identical to other F-16 variants, the F-16AJ now presents a good option for players who require both air interception and ground attack capabilities. Its available payloads will not disappoint players.
|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)|
|< ___||< ___||< ___||> ___|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full internal 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||16,848 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
As a result of its role as a light fighter aircraft, the F-16AJ lacks any armour protection at all. In addition to this, a significant portion of the F-16AJ's internal volume is occupied by self-sealing fuel tanks, making the aircraft prone to being set on fire when hit. Generally, the F-16AJ will suffer a significant hit to its performance when critically damaged to the point where the aircraft can irrecoverably spin out of control if turning too hard with asymmetrical damage. Finally, the F-16AJ only has one engine, meaning that engine damage is critical. The F-16AJ's smaller overall size and superb mid speed manoeuvrability lends well to it being able to get out of the way of enemy gunfire in close range dogfights.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)||Lead indicator|
The F-16AJ is armed with:
- 1 x 20 mm JM61A1 cannon, port wing root-mounted (512 rpg)
- 60 x countermeasures
The F-16AJ 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|
|FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets||57||57|
|AGM-65B missiles||1, 3||1, 3|
|AIM-7F Sparrow missiles||1||1|
|AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|AIM-9P Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|300 gal drop tanks||1|
|Maximum permissible weight imbalance: 2,000 kg|
|Default weapon presets|
Usage in battles
The F-16AJ is one hell of a fighter. It is not as good as the F-16C but is still a Block 10 variant, which is very light, making it exceptional at dogfighting. It can be called the best dogfighter along with the Netz and F-16A due to their very low weight and excessive power.
In Air Realistic Battles, it can be used in multiple ways, making it a versatile fighter which you can't get bored of easily.
- Air Superiority - The F-16AJ can be used in a pure dogfighting role. You should take 2x AIM-7F and 4x AIM-9L in order to be able to engage targets at multiple distances and in multiple circumstances reliably. For this playstyle or role, you should take 30 min internal fuel. The addition of the 10 min drop tank is a good idea if you want to be the first in the battle area. However this might not be the best of choices. Either way, it is always better to have 30+10 minutes rather than taking the 41 minutes of fuel it can hold internally. You can always drop the drop tank, making you lighter whenever you need. Using the powerful radar, you can search for enemies and lock them reliably for your AIM-7F missiles. they are best used for enemies coming straight at you, and it is best to fire them between 11 km and 3.5 km. However you are almost guaranteed to kill the enemy if you fire between 8 km and 4.5 km. The AIM-9L missiles are very reliable, often ignoring flares at ranges below 1 km. They should only be used on targets that do not know you are looking at them.
- Multirole - This playstyle is a slight variation of the Air Superiority playstyle, which is supposed to give you extra rewards. It consists of taking the following loadout: 2 x AIM-7F, 4x AIM-9L, 12 x 500 lb bombs, the Drop tank along with 41 min of fuel. You are to afterburn all the way to a base, and drop your bombs on it. after that, you should go back to Air Superiority, engaging air targets. It can be a fun way to spice things up or grind.
- In Ground Realistic Battles, the F-16AJ remains the only Japanese plane with guided munitions. This however does not mean it is a good plane for attacking ground targets, since it lacks any sort of targetting pod, making you rely on the AGM-65B's camera to find and lock enemies. Other than that, you can carry 6 x AGM-65Bs on top of 2 x 2,000 lb bombs, making you quite a scary fighter in Ground RB. you should try to find and fire an AGM-65B on enemy SPAA as soon as you spawn in, however if you have failed to identify any SPAA and fire an AGM within less than 10 seconds of spawning, you should immediately turn away, and go low to the ground. This is very important if you are facing Russia, as the Pantsir SPAA can easily outrange you and kill you before you even find it.
Overall the F-16AJ remains a very strong fighter, that can fill multiple roles, and be very fun to play, even though it does not get the fanciest features like an HMD, or missiles with IRCCM. It does however remain one if not the best dogfighter in War Thunder, along with the other Block 10 variants.
Pros and cons
- Excellent acceleration and climb rate at any speed and highly manoeuvrable at low to medium speeds
- Excellent 20 mm Vulcan cannon, with high precision, fire rate, and damage
- Able to carry a drop tank to increase flight time
- Can carry 6 powerful air-to-air missiles, such as 6 x AIM-9L or 4 x AIM-9L with 2 x AIM-7F
- 360° unobstructed bubble canopy perfect for simulator battles
- Capable of carrying an extremely diverse wide range of bombs, rockets and AGM-65Bs
- Internal M61 cannon has a low ammo pool and trigger time
- No thermal imaging pod for ground attack purposes
- Control surfaces compress above 850 km/h, greatly decreasing the manoeuvrability above this speed
- Very high fuel consumption with afterburner on, and high engine temperature
Historically, the JASDF was not a user of the F-16 series (though USINDOPACOM operates the F-16C in Japanese airbases). In the 1970s, the Japanese government was seeking to replace its outdated fleet of F-104J Starfighters in response to advances in the aircraft technology of neighbouring countries. As such, they launched a program and eventually got 13 proposals from different aircraft companies, including the Grumman F-14, McDonnell Douglas F-15, and General Dynamics F-16. After much consideration and testing, the program was narrowed down to just the F-14, F-15, and F-16. Discussion and flight tests continued and the F-15 prevailed as the winner of the competition, shattering any hopes for the F-16AJ, and ultimately any F-16 to see service with the JASDF.
Even though the F-16 proposal failed, a derivative of the F-16 was chosen by Japan in order to serve as a multirole aircraft for the FS-X program. This aircraft ultimately became known as the Mitsubishi F-2, which is still in service with the JASDF today.
- 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|
|Japan jet aircraft|
|Reconnaissance||R2Y2 Kai V1 · R2Y2 Kai V2 · R2Y2 Kai V3|
|Fighters||F-86F-30 ▅ · F-86F-40 ▅ · F-86F-40 JASDF▅|
|F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4EJ ADTW · F-4EJ Kai Phantom II|
|Trainers||T-2 Early · T-2|