First Batch Of US-Based RNLAF F-16s Return To Europe



F-16AM J-010. (All pictures, credit score: APS)

RNLAF F-16s deployed to Tucson to coach Viper pilots, are on their method again.

On Jul. 29, 2022, the Royal Netherlands Air Pressure (RNLAF) flew the final F-16 mission from Tucson Worldwide Airport/Morris ANG Base. The Dutch had 11 F-16 Preventing Falcon jets (5x single seater F-16AMs and 6x two-seat F-16BMs) deployed there to hold out coaching of Viper pilot as a part of a global coaching settlement that got here to an finish because the RNLAF began the transition to the brand new F-35A Lightning II.

The F-16s, assigned to the 148th Fighter Squadron had been initially regarded as destined to strengthen the fleet of one of many ADAIR contractors, however the revision of those contracts put a termination to this sale. Due to this fact, the plane are being ferried to SABCA in Belgium, for attainable overhaul and storage or pending sale to a brand new operator (apparently to Bulgaria).

On Dec. 13, the primary batch of 6x F-16s being ferried over from Lakeland, Florida (house of the Draken Worldwide, the place the plane reportedly had been being examined earlier than becoming a member of the fleet of the Pink Air contractor), landed at Lajes Subject, Azores.

The Vipers had been supported by U.S. Air Pressure KC-10A #87-0117 radio callsign RCH81.

The supporting KC-10A #87-0117.

For the data listed below are the serials and callsigns:

J-004 tail code AZ F-16AM NAF312
J-067 tail code AZ F-16BM NAF313
J-018 tail code AZ F-16AM NAF314
J-210 tail code AZ F-16BM NAF315
J-064 tail code AZ F-16BM NAF316
J-010 tail code AZ F-16AM NAF317 marked “148FS”

Be aware: NAF 316 declared in flight emergency attributable to technical issues, was met by the fireplace division upon arrival. On Dec. 14, it was towed to a Portuguese AF hangar for consideration by upkeep personnel.

On the morning of Dec. 15, 4 jets departed at round 10.00z. These had been J-010, J-210, J-067 and J-004 with J-018 and J-064 left behind. The remaining 5 are nonetheless within the U.S. ready to do the crossing.

David Cenciotti is a journalist primarily based in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and skim army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, warfare, trade, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with completely different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Pressure, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Laptop Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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