F-16 jets of the US Air Force 56th Fighter Wing operating at Luke AFB on training flights, November 2018. 4K UHD video.
(C) Jukka O. Kauppinen 2018-2019
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The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976. Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation, which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.
First flight 20 January 1974
Introduction 17 August 1978
Located west of Phoenix, Luke Air Force Base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fighter wing in the world and the Air Force’s primary active-duty fighter pilot training wing. As part of Air Education and Training Command, and home to 24 squadrons with both F-35A Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, the 56th graduates more than 400 pilots and 300 air control professionals annually. The wing is also responsible for six additional squadrons under the 54th Fighter Group located at Holloman AFB, New Mexico, where F-16 training will move in the interim as Luke AFB transitions to become the primary pilot training center for the F-35A, the Air Force’s newest multi-role aircraft. Additionally, the 56th Fighter Wing oversees the Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and is steward of the Barry M. Goldwater Range, a military training range spanning more than 1.7 million acres of Sonoran desert.
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