The F-16 evolved from a 1972 USAF Lightweight Fighter (LWF) prototype program, which sought a small, lightweight, low cost, air superiority day fighter designed for high performance and ease of maintenance. The YF-16 was selected the winner, over the Northrop YF-17, after the LWF fly-off competition was completed. The basic YF-17 design was used as the basis for the US Navy F-18.
The F-16 achieved combat-ready status in October 1980. Many foreign nations, including Belgium, Denmark, Turkey, Egypt and Israel, have purchased the F-16.
TECHNICAL NOTES (F-16A-15): Armament: One 20mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon and various combinations of air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs Engine: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan of 23,830 lbs. static sea level thrust each with afterburner Maximum speed: 1,345 mph Cruising speed: 577 Range: 1,407 miles Service ceiling: 55,000 ft. Span: 32 ft. 10 in. with missiles mounted (30 ft. without missiles or rails) Length: 47 ft. 8 in. (49 ft. 6 in. with pitot boom) Height: 16 ft. 5 in. Weight: 33,000 lbs. maximum takeoff Crew: One