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

Last revised September 22, 2015


When Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in July of 1994, it became a de-facto US ally, and thus became elegible for modern American weapons. The Royal Jordanian Air Force agreed on July 29, 1996 to lease some early-model F-16A/Bs, with an option to purchase them eventually. The five-year lease consists of of 12 F-16A and four F-16Bs, all of which were taken from AMARC storage. All of the F-16As and one of the F-16Bs were previously ADC versions. Before delivery, the planes were overhauled and upgraded by the Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill AFB in Utah before delivery. Included in the upgrade was the fitting of the F100-PW-220E engine

The Royal Jordanian Air Force received their first F-16s during December of 1997 under the Peace Falcon FMS program. They re-equipped the RJAF No. 2 Squadron based at Mowafaq Al Salti-Al Azraq, which previously had operated CASA 101s.

Jordan expressed an interest in acquiring two additional F-16 batches, enough to equip two more RJAF squadrons. It was agreed that a total of 17 surplus Block 15 OCU ADF aircraft (13 As and 4 Bs) would be acquired, and Congress gave its approval on June 14, 2000. They were delivered under Peace Falcon II and joined the 12 F-16As and 4 F-16Bs that had been leased from the USAF since 1997 and in service with 2 Squadron at Al Azraqa. The first of these were handed over to the RJAF on January 29, 2003.

All of the F-16A/B aicraft were upgraded by Turkish Aerospace Industries to F-16AM MLU standard. In 2005, Jordan purchased 16 surplus F-16AM/BM aircraft from Belgium under Peace Falcon III. Under Peace Falcon IV, Jordan purchased 6 F-16BM aircraft from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. These were delivered in the summer of 2009. An additional 9 F-16AM/BM aircraft were delivered from Belgium in Jul/Aug 2011 under Peace Falcon V.

This brought the total number of F-16s delivered to Jordan to 64.

On 24 December 2014, a Jordanian F-16 crashed in Syria after being allegedly shot down by ISIS. The pilot, First Lieutenant Mu'ath Safi Yousef al-Kasasbeh, was captured by ISIS militants. On 3 February 2015, a video posted on ISIS-linked Jihadi websites, showed al-Kasasbeh being burned alive.

Sources:


  1. Military Aviation Review, World AirPower Journal, Vol 33, 1998.

  2. Military Aviation Review, World AirPower Journal, Vol 28, 1997.

  3. Arab Air Power Survey, Part 2, Air Forces Monthly, No 142, January 2000.

  4. Airscene Headlines, Air International, March 2003.

  5. General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon Operators, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon_operators