General Dynamics F-16A/B Fighting Falcon for Denmark

Last revised September 22, 2015


Denmark was a member of the quartet of nations that brought the Fighting Falcon to Europe. The initial Kongelige Danske Flyvevaaben (Royal Danish Air Force) order, placed in June 1975, was for 46 single seat F-16As and 12 two-seat F-16Bs. Final assembly of these planes was carried out by the SABCA plant in Belgium, and all were built to the initial Block 1 standards.

Deliveries to the KDF began in January 28, 1980, with the arrival of the first F-16B. The first squadrons to convert to the F-16 were Eskadrilles 727 and 730, which were both based at Skrystrup. The new F-16s replaced the elderly F-100 Super Sabres which were still serving with these units. Esk 727 was declared operational to NATO on August 26, 1981. In 1983, Eskadrilles 723 and 726 at Aalborg converted to the F-16, replacing the units' F-104G Starfighters. Esk 723 was declared operational with the F-16 in March of 1984.

With four squadrons flying the F-16, Denmark was finally able to phase out the last of its F-104G Starfighters and F-100 Super Sabres. The 58 F-16A/Bs in the initial KDF order were later upgraded to F-16A/B Block 10 standards by the KDF's Aalborg workshop in the Pacer Loft 1 program.

In August 1984, a follow-on batch of 12 Block 15 (large-tail) aircraft (8 single seaters and 4 two-seaters) was ordered. These were built by Fokker in the Netherlands, and were intended as attrition replacements.

The following squadrons of the KDF are equipped with the F-16:

The primary air-intercept weapon carried by KDF F-16A/Bs is the AIM-9L Sidewinder infrared homer, but the KDF plans to acquire the AIM-120 AMRAAM "fire-and-forget" air-to-air missile for its F-16s. It will also acquire the Hughes AGM-65G Maverick air-to-surface missile for ground attack missions. The F-16s of Esk 726 were assigned the task of photographic reconnaissance, taking over from the SAAB Drakens of Esk 725 and Esk 729. To fulfill this role, they received the Red Baron reconnaissance pod with Vinten cameras previously carried by the Drakens, However, a new low-drag pod is under development.

By 1987, attrition had reduced strength to the level at which four fully-active squadrons could no longer be supported, and the Flyvevabnet began to search for additional Fighting Falcons. In 1992, the KDF announced a reduction in personnel strength in order to release funds to purchase 24 additional Fighting Falcons--18 As and 6 Bs. These were scheduled for delivery in 1993-95, and their arrival wwould allow the last of the SAAB Drakens now serving with Eskadrille 729 to be retired. However, these fell afoul of defense spending cuts and the order had to be cancelled.

Three former USAF Block 15 aircraft from the 170th Fighter Squadron of the Illinois Air National Guard were delivered to the KDF in July of 1994 as attrition replacements. In February of 1997, three F-16As and one F-16B were delivered to Denmark from AMARC storage. These planes went through a thorough overhaul, which included modification to Danish standards.

61 of Denmark's Block 15 F-16A/Bs were scheduled to go through the Mid-Life Update (MLU) program beginning in 1996. Under the MLU program, they were to be brought up to approximately F-16C/D Block 50/52 status. The upgrade included the AN/APG-66(V2A) radar, the GPS navigational aid, a wide-angle HUD, night-vision goggle capability, a modular mission computer, and a digital terrain system. This program is scheduled for completion in 1999.

A Danish-built reconnaissance pod was developed for the F-16. The locally-built pod included some equipment taken from RF 35 Drakens, which consisted of an Infrared Line Scanner and two Vinten F95 cameras each in the front and rear sections. The pot can be carried on the centerline underfuselage pylon . Two pod-equipped F-16s were assigned to Escadrille 726 at Alborg, which first entered service in Janaury 1994. A more advanced Per Udsen pod is currently under development.

RDAF F-16s participated in NATO joint operations over Kosovo during the war. They alao were deployed during the 2011 intervention in Libya and in Afghanistan. RDAF F-16s have also been in action over the skies of Iraq against the Islamic State terrorist organization.

All European-built F-16s were assigned USAF serials for administrative purposes. RDAF F-16s carry the last 3 digits of their USAF serial numbers on the fuselage. For F-16As, the serial number is prefixed by E, for F-16Bs it is prefixed by ET.

Serials of Danish F-16s:


78-0174/0176		General Dynamics F-16A Block 1 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-174/E-176) 
78-0177/0188		General Dynamics F-16A Block 5 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-177/E-188) 
78-0189/0194		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-189/E-194) 
78-0195/0197		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10A Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-195/E-197) 
78-0198/0199		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10B Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-198/E-199) 
78-0200/0203		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10C Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-200/E-203) 
78-0204/0205		General Dynamics F-16B Block 1 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-204/ET-205) 
78-0206/0208		General Dynamics F-16B Block 5 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-206/ET-208) 
78-0209			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-209) 
78-0210			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10A Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-210) 
78-0211			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10B Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-211) 
80-3596/3597		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-596/597).
80-3598/3602 		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15B Fighting Falcon
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-598/602).
80-3603/3606 		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15D Fighting Falcon
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-603/606).
80-3607/3609 		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15F Fighting Falcon
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-607/609).
80-3610/3611 		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15H Fighting Falcon
				built by SABCA for Denmark (E-610/611).
80-3612			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15 Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-612).
80-3613			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15B Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-613).
80-3614			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15F Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-614).
80-3615			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15Q Fighting Falcon 
				built by SABCA for Denmark (ET-615).
86-0197/0199		General Dynamics F-16B Block 15Y OCU Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Denmark (ET-197/199).  
87-0004/0007		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15AA OCU Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Denmark (E-004/007)
87-0008			General Dynamics F-16A Block 15AC OCU Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Denmark (E-008)
87-0022			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15Y OCU Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Denmark (ET-022)

Serials of the ANG planes delivered to Denmark:

82-1008/1025		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15P Fighting Falcon
				1024 transferred to Denmark in 1994 (E-024).
83-1066/1087		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15Q Fighting Falcon
				1075 transferred to Denmark in 1994 (E-075).
83-1107/1117		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15S Fighting Falcon
				1107 transferred to Denmark in 1994 (E-107)

Serials of the F-16As delivered to Denmark in 1997 from AMARC storage:

80-0625/0628		General Dynamics F-16B Block 10C Fighting Falcon
				0626 transferred to Denmark in 1997 (ET-626)
82-1008/1025		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15P Fighting Falcon
				1011 transferred to Denmark in 1997 (E-011).
83-1066/1087		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15Q Fighting Falcon
				1070 transferred to Denmark in 1997 (E-070).
				1074 transferred to Denmark in 1997 (E-074).

Sources:


  1. Combat Aircraft F-16, Doug Richardson, Crescent, 1992.

  2. General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. F-16 Fighting Falcon--A Major Review of the West's Universal Warplane, Robert F. Dorr, World Airpower Journal, Spring 1991.

  6. The World's Great Interceptor Aircraft, Gallery, 1989.

  7. Modern Military Aircraft--F-16 Viper, Lou Drendel, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1992.

  8. Lockheed F-16 Variants, Part 1, World Airpower Journal, Volume 21, Summer 1995.

  9. Air Power Analysis: Scandinavia, World AirPower Journal, Volume 34, 1998.

  10. E-mail from Thoger Jensen on serials of 1997 transfers of F-16As to Denmark.

  11. General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon