The F-16A Fighting Falcon is a single-engine, single seat, supersonic fighter developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force under the Lightweight Fighter program. Initially meant to be an inexpensive mass-produced daytime air superiority fighter, the F-16 was developed into a highly effective multi-role platform and heavily exported to NATO-allied nations. More than 4,500 of the type were produced, and operated by more than 25 countries.
Denmark was one of the first four nations (known as the European Participating Governments, or EPG) to purchase the F-16. Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway were all in need of a new lightweight fighter in the mid-1970's. Denmark made the smallest initial buy of the EPG with 58 aircraft purchased, followed by another small order of 12 for a total of 70. The F-16A Block 1 and Block 5 are very similar, the chief differences between the two being that the Block 5 eliminated the black nose, and included a set of drainage vents in the forward fuselage and near the tail to prevent rainwater from accumulating on the airframe.
The F-16A Block 1 is a multi-role combat aircraft available to Denmark and NATO decks. It carries a Vulcan cannon, twelve Mk. 82 high-explosive bombs, and a pair of AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles. Its bomb compliment allows the F-16A to make effective attacks against lightly armored vehicles and infantry, and the accurate AIM-9L gives the F-16A Block 1 the ability to attack helicopters operating in its vicinity. The chief drawback of the F-16A is its lack of ECM, which leaves the type vulnerable to long range SAMs and AAMs. Also, since the F-16A Block 1 does not carry a long range missile compliment, a fighter escort is recommended when sortieing the Block 1.
The F-16A Block 5 is a multi-role combat aircraft available to Denmark and BLUFOR decks. It carries twelve Mk.20 Rockeye II cluster bombs, but has been given ECM of moderate strength. The ECM provides a higher degree of protection against long range SAMs and AAMs, though it is not as strong as that found on slightly more expensive fighters. Its advantages and drawbacks are largely the same as the Block 1's, but with enhanced survivability. A fighter escort is still recommended for dealing with enemy aircraft equipped with long range missiles.
Curiously, it can be said to have better stats than the F-16A for the USA, this is because while the USA's F-16 uses the AIM-9J with 2 AT cluster bombs, the F-16 Block 1 uses the AIM-9L with 12 HE bombs. This despite the USA being the F-16's country of origin.