|F-16A Fighting Falcon||F-16AM Fighting Falcon||F-16A Block 15|
|General Dynamics F-16AM|
|Class||Air Superiority Fighter|
|Variant(s)||F-16A Fighting Falcon (Norway)|
F-16A Block 15 (Norway)
|Armor||Front 0 / Side 0 / Rear 0 / Top 0|
|Fuel Capacity||4000 L|
|Type||Airborne, Mechanized, Armored, Motorized, Support|
|Gatling Gun||M61A1 Vulcan (20mm)|
|AAM||AIM-9M Sparrow (IR)|
|AAM||AIM-120A AMRAAM (Radar)|
The General Dynamics F-16AM "Fighting Falcon" is a single-engine, single-seat Air Superiority Fighter. Norway first received the F-16A in the late 1970's, and by the early 1990's, the aircraft received a Mid Life Update (MLU) to bring the older F-16's cockpits and avionics up to the same standards as new build F-16C Block 52s, and generally improve performance and maintainability. The updated F-16's, called F-16AMs or F-16A Block 15 MLUs, were also given compatibility with long-range radar guided missiles (AMRAAM). The project started in 1991 and was completed by 1997.
The F-16AM is an Air Superiority Fighter available to Norwegian and Scandinavian decks. Although fairly expensive, the F-16AM has exceptional capabilities for its cost. With very good ECM (40%), a tight turning circle, four long-range Fire-and-Forget AIM-120A AMRAAM, and two short-range AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles, the F-16AM in essence gives Norway capabilities akin to the American F-16C Block 52. It is well suited to engage advanced enemy fighters, to intercept enemy strike platforms, or to attack enemy helicopters. The Fire-and-Forget capability of the AMRAAM allows the F-16AM to fire and break away, minimizing the threat of return-fire, and the powerful ECM carried helps to mitigate the threat even further. The chief drawback of the F-16AM is its cost, although at 160 points per aircraft, the F-16AM is not as expensive as top-of-the-line Warsaw Pact fighters, like the Su-27 and MiG-29 series, or the American F-15C Eagle. Also, the type carries the slightly less capable AIM-9L, rather than the AIM-9M.