The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multi-role fighter aircraft which is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combats and air-to-surface combats over time.
It serves as a low-cost and high-performance weapon system for the United States and its allied nations. Over 4,450 F-16s have been delivered to the U.S. and 25 other air forces in the world so far.
The F-16 is scheduled to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025. It will then be replaced by the planned F-35 Lightning II.
A Close Shave
On 15 September 2003, a U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16C crashed during an air show. Capt. Christopher Stricklin attempted a "Split S" maneuver based on an incorrect mean-sea-level altitude of the airfield.
When Stricklin had insufficient altitude to complete the maneuver, he skilfully guided the aircraft away from the spectators and ejected just 1s before impact. Amazingly, he survived with only minor injuries. Below was the video clip captured just before the F-16C crash.