Norway ordered seventy-two F-16s and the first one got delivered on January 15th 1980, which was an F-16B variant. These particular planes were assembled by Fokker in the Netherlands. After some aircraft losses the RNoAF ordered two more planes in 1987, and these were built by General Dynamics in Texas, USA.
The Mid-Life Update (MLU)
In the early 90s the planning and projecting of the MLU program started. The program is a collaboration between Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and USA. The updates involve both structural (hardware) and software upgrades. The hardware updates are mainly strengthening of the fuselage, better utilization of the hardpoints, cockpit upgrades and the introduction of new weapons and complementary systems.
Specific updates included:
- Strengthening the airframe
- Improved radar
- AMRAAM compatibility
- The Improved Data Modem (IDM) datalink
- Advanced Identification Friend-or-Foe system (IFF)
- The capability of carrying and operate the Targeting Pod (TGP) for laser guided weapons
- Cockpit compatible with the Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS)
- Two Multi-Function Displays (MFDs)
- Improved engine
- Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS)
- A Digital Terrain System (DTS)
The weapons systems upgrades also included improved, more powerful, computers to handle the new software installed.
The updates were implemented on operational aircraft in 1996, after a thorough testing and trial period. Today, all aircraft have been updated.
The next big updates are software modifications which will make the F-16 capable of using Link 16 and will also give the pilot the capability of using Helmet Mounted/Cueing Sight. These improvements will be completed some time after 2008.
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 turbofan, rated at 14,590 lb.s.t.
dry and 23,770 lb.s.t. with afterburning.
Length: 15,10 m (49 feet 3 1/2 inches)
Height: 5,10 m (16 feet 8 1/2 inches)
Wingspan: 10 m (32 feet 9 1/2 inches)
Speed: Mach 2.05 (2400 km/h) at 40,000 feet
Service ceiling: More than 15 000 m (50,000 fee)
Max. take-off weight: 37500 pounds(16875 kg)
Max. range: Over 2000 miles (3230 km)
Armaments: One M-61A1 20 mm cannon with 500 rounds; up to six air-air missiles;
AIM 9 L "Sidewinder", AIM 120 "AMRAAM", Penguin Mk 3, GBU-12, Mark 82); ECM pods
Price: $30.1 million