Warplanes: June 16, 2002

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Aviation Week and Space Technology reported on 10 June that 28 F-16s sitting for nearly a decade in the Arizona desert's Davis-Monthan AFB Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center have finally found a home. These Block 15 A and B models were originally purchased by Pakistan in 1992, but embargoed because Islamabad openly purchased nuclear weapons technology from China. These F-16s were upgraded with HUDs and improved engines for foreign military sales. While those vying for the aircraft in the U.S. say the plan "changes hourly", currently half will go to the Navy at NAS Fallon, NV to serve in the adversary squadron supporting the Top Gun school, replacing F/A-18A/Bs and F-5s at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center. The other 14 will serve with the 412th Test Wing as flight test support chase aircraft, replacing long-serving T-38s. The F-16s are having their Pakistani air force star and crescent moon insignia painted out and their engines reconditioned before being ferried to their new bases. - Adam Geibel

 


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