F-16A ADF (Italy)
|This page is about the jet fighter F-16A ADF (Italy). For other versions, see F-16 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
A representation of the rented F-16A ADFs from the USAF for the Italian Air Force; aside from the roundel on the aircraft, the jet added in Update "Apex Predators" performs exactly like its American counterpart, ensuring the air-combat capability of Italy with some of the most advanced missiles in game, as well as advanced avionics and manoeuvrability. For players who need interception both short and long range, the F-16 ADF is able to provide that. Its top speed will ensure that you will easily be one of the first aircraft to spot incoming enemy jets. It does not have really have notable air to ground capability, however if you're able to line up an easy shot against lightly armoured targets, such as SPAAs or IFVs, the M61 20 mm cannon can usually take them out.
The F-16 is very strong in a dogfight due to its excellent TWR and energy retention, its highly manoeuvrable and can easily reach its top speed even when climbing. Its so good that you will often experience the effects of the G-limit, so when making a sharp turn keep that in mind.
(km/h at 10,973 m)
|Rate of climb
|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)|
|< ___||< ___||< ___||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Basic mass||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220||1||7,970 kg||___ kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with internal fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Gross|
|Weight (each)||Type||8m fuel||20m fuel||29m fuel|
|1,470 kg||Afterburning low-bypass turbofan||8,942 kg||10,193 kg||11,210 kg||12,914 kg|
|Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB)||Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||8m fuel||20m fuel||29m fuel||MGW|
|Stationary||6,490 kgf||8,985 kgf||1.01||0.88||0.80||0.70|
|Optimal|| 7,434 kgf
| 15,225 kgf
Survivability and armour
The F-16 ADF is not very armoured, so enemy aircraft can easily tear into your jet with some good timed shots. Its advised that you try to avoid being shot in the first place. The F-16 has access to flares however so in the event of an enemy missile coming your way you'll be able to defend yourself, if not you can be lucky and survive some hits if the missile doesn't damage any vital components that are critical for your flight.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)||CCRP (Bombs)|
The F-16A ADF (Italy) is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon, wing root-mounted (512 rpg)
- 1 x 20 mm M61A1 cannon + 60 x countermeasures
The F-16A ADF (Italy) can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:
- 1 x 300 gal drop tank
- 2 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
- 6 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x AIM-7M Sparrow missiles
Custom loadout options
|AIM-7M Sparrow missiles||1||1|
|AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles||1||1||1||1||1||1|
|300 gal drop tanks||1|
Usage in battles
The F-16A ADF can be a powerful fighter with multiple playstyles, rushing straight into battle or hanging high and utilizing the AIM-7M Sparrow. Players that plan to stay low and accelerate straight into action will be satisfied with the F-16's low-altitude performance and radar. Players that want to keep high and sling AIM-7Ms at targets will be more than pleased with the F-16's strong climb rate, range of the AIM-7M, and radar. A mixed countermeasure loadout (1 flare, 1 chaff) is recommended because it allows 30 countermeasure drops against radar or IR missiles. In order to be prepared for matches that may extend longer than usual, select the 20-minute fuel option in conjunction with the 300-gallon drop tank. 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. The AIM-7Ms must be used wisely since only 2 Sparrows can be carried simultaneously. For long-range, high-altitude fights, seek out targets closing in fast. Do not fire at targets already about to notch or beginning to notch. AIM-7Ms are excellent for these types of engagements due to their range and manoeuvrability. As for low-altitude engagements, look for targets closing in fast and at around 500 metres altitude or above. Do not fire at targets that are flying very close to the ground because the radar will track underneath the intended target, and the missile will miss. As for AIM-9L Sidewinders, players can be more generous with them since the ADF 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, however, it's critical to be at the correct speed. The F-16 has a very wide turning circle at high speeds, so make sure to stay around 800-850 km/h (497-528 mph) when entering a dogfight. Sadly unlike the American F-16A, the Italian F-16 ADF does not have access to any air to ground armaments, so taking the aircraft in ground battles will only mean the user will have to rely on either staying away from the battlefield and picking off enemy helicopters and jets, or trying to take out lightly armoured targets with the 20mm Vulcan the F-16 ADF has access to.
Pros and cons
- High power-to-weight ratio gives it an incredible acceleration
- Highly manoeuvrable at lower speeds
- 20 mm Vulcan cannon has high velocity and rate of fire
- Able to carry a drop tank to extend flight time
- Access to 6 x AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles
- Bubble canopy with excellent unobstructed 360° visibility gives great situational awareness in simulator mode
- Consumes fuel quickly
- G limit
- No air-to-ground armament
The history of the F-16 ADF began during the mid 1980s, America had phased out their USAF Air Defense Command which meant the duty to protect the American skies would completely fall to the Air National Guard. Their main task was to intercept bombers from the Soviet Union during a theoretical invasion. This meant that they would need an agile aircraft which would not only be fast enough to intercept the high altitude bombers, but also be properly equipped to shoot enemy aircraft down. General Dynamics initially would convert up to 270 F-16A/F-16B airframes into ADF standard. The modification would retain the ability to mount air-to-ground missiles, rockets and bombs however it introduced the AN/APG-66 radar which greatly improved target acquisition of small targets, IFF for distinguishing friendlies and foes (AN/APX-109), and a 150,000-candlepower night spotlight for identification. The ADF would be in service for many years, but ultimately due to the Cold War dying down after the dissolution of the USSR, the need for all the surplus F-16s would dwindle down. Some of the ADFs would be converted back into regular F-16As or Bs, whilst others were either put in storage or exported to other nations.
In Italy's case, during the end of the Cold War the F-104s were still Italy's primary defence against enemy bombers and fighter jets, and although it did have some upsides as it was still extremely fast meaning it could react to threats quicker, it was not fit for dogfighting. Italy joined in the Eurofighter program, which also included Spain, Germany and the UK, this would allow them to have a common modern multi-role fighter that would go into service and remain in service for decades to come. The issue however was development of this new fighter required time and money, something which after the Soviet Union collapsed was not readily available, especially due to all western/NATO countries deciding to downsize their armed forces. Italy would be put in a very tough situation, the F-104s were still in service but they could not risk them being shot down in case they were forced to enter a dogfight.
As a stop-gap measure, Italy would initially order several Tornadoes from the UK in the ADV (F.3) variant which would be able to give Italy a decent fighter which was capable of dogfighting. They weren't bought, but instead rented to the Italian Air Force from stocks belonging to the RAF in 1993 with a decade-long contract, since Italy also operated quantities of the IDS variant. They did their job but the joint-developed Eurofighter program had other setbacks once again which meant that Italy had to make a choice, either extend the rental of the ADV fighters or choose another stop-gap option. The ADV would become too expensive to rent again so they were returned, Italy would study its choices but ended up preferring the American F-16, especially in its ADF variant. Thus in 2001, an agreement was signed with the United States on 15th March to provide the Italian Air Force with 30 F-16A ADFs, 1 F-16B ADF, and 3 F-16B block 5 and 10 in OCU configuration.
Before delivery to the Italian Air Force, the aircraft would be brought out of storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona and transferred to the Ogden ALC at Hill AFB, Utah, where they would undergo 220 days of refurbishment and upgrades. Part of the upgrades included the Falcon-Up and several changes to the aircraft such as replacement of particular bulkheads, updating the landing gear and anything which extended its life, as the ones which were put in storage already had several hundred hours of flight time. Once refurbishment was completed in the US, the F-16s would be delivered to the Italian Air Force as part of the "Peace Caesar" program. It's good to note that whilst the F-16s were being ready, several pilots from the Italian Air Force would be sent to America to be trained on the aircraft, which also included armament familiarization.
Italian F-16s in service would not be equipped with rockets, bombs or air to ground munitions, however they did still retain the ability to do so. Italian F-16 armament consisted of AIM-120, AIM-9L, and also AIM-7E and M anti-air missiles. The 20 mm Vulcan was also kept. Italian F-16s would be a main component of the Italian Air Force. One of their first deployments would be in Libyan airspace, as part of NATO's Operation Unified Protector which established a no-fly zone over Libya. They'd also be used as escorts for Italian SEAD packages. As the first decade went by relatively peacefully and the eventual commission of Eurofighters for Italy, Italian F-16s belonging to the 5° Stormo would be retired at Cervia air base in 2010 with each F-16 being painted in a special colour. On the 23rd of May 2012, a disbanding ceremony would held at Trapani-Birgi air force base to mark the disbandment of the 18° Gruppo, which at that point was the sole surviving F-16 squadron within the Italian Air Force. Not all Italian F-16s were returned to America, some were stored in Italy whilst some made their way to museums; for example, at the Vigna di Valle museum, there is an F-16 which belonged to 23° Gruppo of the 5° Stormo, MM7251.
- Related development
|General Dynamics Corporation|
|Jet Fighters||F-16A · F-16A ADF|
|Export||Netz · ▄F-16A ADF · ␗F-16A MLU · F-16AJ|
|Italy jet aircraft|
|Aefer||Sagittario 2 · Ariete|
|Fiat||G.91 pre-serie · G.91 R/1 · G.91 R/4 · G.91 Y · G.91 YS|
|Panavia||▄Tornado IDS (1995)|
|Vampire||Vampire FB 52A|
|F-84||▄F-84F · ▄F-84G-21-RE|
|F-86||CL-13 Mk.4 · ▄F-86K|
|F-104||▄F-104G · F-104S · ▄F-104S TAF · F-104S.ASA|