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

Last revised September 22, 2015


Norway was the fourth member of the European consortium (along with Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark) which was formed in the late 1970s to build the F-16 under license.

The first Fighting Falcon for the Kongelige Norske Luftforsvaret (Royal Norwegian Air Force) took off on its maiden flight on December 12, 1979. It was built at Fokker's Schiphol plant in the Netherlands. The first Luftforsvaret F-16 was delivered to Norway on January 15, 1980. Norway acquired 60 F-16As and 12 F-16Bs from the Netherlands' Fokker production line between January of 1980 and June of 1984. They were all constructed to Block 1, 5, 10, and 15 standards, but all of the Block 1 and 5 aircraft were later upgraded to Block 10 standards.

Norway's short and snowy runways which are often located at dispersed sites dictated that their F-16s be fitted with braking parachutes to handle situations where ordinary wheel brakes could not be used. These chutes are housed inside large rectangular extensions at the base of the tailfin. Norwegian F-16s also carry an identification spotlight for use during long, dark winters.

The F-16s replaced the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter as the primary interceptor and fighter bomber with the KNL. The F-16A/Bs serve with four Skvadrons (squadrons):

The F-16s of all four squadrons perform the air defense role and are armed with AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles. During the Cold War, Luftforsvaret F-16s carried out numerous interceptions of Soviet warplanes out over the North Atlantic and Barents Sea. However, all F-16 squadrons also have an air-to-surface mission, and can carry CRV-7 unguided rockets as well as standard NATO iron bombs and cluster bombs. These planes will later be capable of carrying AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles when the Mid-Life Update program is complete.

The Norwegian F-16s have an important anti-shipping role, and can also carry and launch the locally-built Kongsberg Penguin 3 antiship missile. Deliveries of the Penguin 3 began in 1987, and these missiles are carried by the F-16s of Skvadron 334. The weapon was tested by the USAF under the designation AGM-119. Midcourse guidance is by an inertial system and radio altimeter, while final aiming is by a passive infrared seeker. Range is 25-27 miles, and the missile can be programmed to fly in a random weaving pattern while en route to the target to throw off enemy defenses.

In 1987, attrition stood at six aircraft and Norway had hoped to buy six replacements comprising four F-16As and two F-16Bs. In the end, this order was reduced to just two F-16Bs, both of which came from the Fort Worth production line rather than the Fokker line at Schipol. Subseuently, six more Norwegian F-16s have been lost in accidents, which amounted for one-fifth of those received.

56 Norwegian Block 15 F-16A/Bs ( 45 As and 11 Bs) are scheduled to go through a Mid-Life Update (MLU) program, in which they will be brought up to approximately F-16C/D Block 50/52 status. They will be provided with AN/APG-66(V2A) radar, GPS navigational aids, a wide-angle HUD, night-vision goggle capability, a modular mission computer, and a digital terrain system. The first MLU F-16s are to be delivered to 338 Skvadron at Orland.

Norwegian F-16s were deployed during the 2011 intervention in Libya and in Afghanistan.

RNAF F-16s carry a three-digit serial number on their tails. These numbers are the last three digits of their USAF serials, which are assigned to all European-manufactured F-16s for record-keeping purposes.

Serials of Norwegian F-16s:

78-0272/0274		General Dynamics F-16A Block 1 Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (272/274)
78-0275/0284		General Dynamics F-16A Block 5 Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (275/284)
78-0285/0289		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10 Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (285/289)
78-0290/0293		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10A Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (290/293)
78-0294/0299		General Dynamics F-16A Block 10B Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (294/299)
78-0300			General Dynamics F-16A Block 15 Fighting Falcon  
				Built by Fokker for Norway (300)
78-0301/0302		General Dynamics F-16B Block 1 Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Norway (301/302)
78-0303/0304		General Dynamics F-16B Block 5 Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Norway (303/304)
78-0305			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10 Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Norway (305)
78-0306			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10B Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Norway (306)
78-0307			General Dynamics F-16B Block 10C Fighting Falcon  
				built by Fokker for Norway (307)
80-3658/3659		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15 Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (658/659).
80-3660/3663		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15B Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (660/663).
80-3664/3667		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15D Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (664/667).
80-3668/3671		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15F Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (668/671).
80-3672/3675		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15H Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (672/675).
80-3676/3683		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15K Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (676/683).
80-3684/3688		General Dynamics F-16A Block 15M Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (684/688).
80-3689			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15 Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (689).
80-3690			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15B Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (690).
80-3691			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15D Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (691).
80-3692			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15F Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (692).
80-3693			General Dynamics F-16B Block 15H Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fokker for Norway (693).
87-0711/0712		General Dynamics F-16B Block 15AD OCU Fighting Falcon
				built by Fort Worth as attrition
				replacements to Norway as 711/712

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. Continental NATO Air Forces, Paul Jackson, World Airpower Journal, Volume 1, Spring 1990.

  10. Lockheed Martin F-16 Operators, Part 2, Peter R. Foster, World Airpower Journal, Vol 24, Spring 1996.

  11. Air Power Analysis: Scandinavia, World AirPower Journal, Vol 34, 1998.

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