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Lockheed Martin F-16 BM Fighting Falcon - 15120 Photo Album - Lockheed Martin F-16 BM Fighting Falcon - 15120

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Lockheed Martin F-16 BM Fighting Falcon - 15120

The YF-16 project (formerly GD Mod.401) won the competition for the supply of a light fighter to the North American Air Force and the first flight of the F-16 / A took place in 1980.

The F-16, in its various versions and derivations, is the most produced combat fighter in the Western world. Initially thought to be a light high-speed aircraft for close combat, the F-16 evolved into an advanced fighter, using the latest weapon systems and devices. Several European countries, together with the United States, created an organization to study the modernization of older F-16A and F-16B fighters, converting them to a standard close to the F-16C and F-16D. These aircraft are called F-16AM or F-16BM.

From the very beginning, the F-16 was conceived as a low-cost workhorse that could carry out various types of missions and maintain punctual availability. It is much simpler and lighter than its predecessors, but it uses electronic aerodynamics and avionics, (including the first use of fly-by-wire flight, achieving the nickname 'electronic jet') to maintain good performance.

Basically, this is what distinguishes it from its predecessors, many of which were not designed to operate in all atmospheric conditions. Unlike the other fighters, which had characteristics of specific use, such as the F-104, which was too expensive, and others, made for exclusive operations on aircraft carriers, like the (F-14).

F-16 BM Fighting FalconThe F-16MLU made its first flight with the national insignia on June 26, 2003. The two Portuguese F-16 Squadrons (Squadron 201 - 'Falcões', Squadron 301 - 'Jaguares') maintain by mission the Offensive and Defensive Air Fight and Operations against surface targets.

The MLU (Mid Life Update Version) program emerged in the early 1990s as a result of the need to keep the F-16 in operation for another 20 years, while maintaining the same degree of efficiency and operational capabilities. Initially with 5 countries (Belgium, Denmark, Holland, Norway and the United States), Portugal would enter the program in 2000, beginning the modification of Air Force aircraft in 2001. The MLU configuration, in addition to new and integrated equipment with new operating software, it allows a significant increase in operational capacities compared to the old OCU configuration. In addition, the cockpit layout itself was redefined, approaching the most current versions of the F-16, as is the case with Blocks 40/42 and 50/52.

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