With just days remaining in the National Day Parade, the excitement among the public to witness the fighter jets performing aerial maneuvers above the Parade Ground is at an all-time high.
Talking of fighter jets, one name that immediately comes to mind is F-16. In 1983, Pakistan Air Force (PAF) acquired the first batch of F-16 jets from the US. The first Pakistani F-16 was flown by Squadron Leader Shahid Javed at PAF Base Sargodha which is now known as PAF Base Mushaf.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine multirole fighter jet. It was initially designed as an air superiority day fighter aircraft. It later evolved into a formidable all-weather multirole jet.
Despite manufacturing the JF-17 fighters in collaboration with China in February 2010, F-16s still remain relevant in the national aerial defense and they will continue to do so in coming years.
Before inducting the JF-17s, PAF also used A-5C, J-7, Mirage III, and Mirage V jets to guard the aerial boundaries of Pakistan for decades.
F-16s, JF-17s, and the recently inducted J10-Cs now constitute the primary aerial defense of the country. PAF inducted the J-10C fighter jets after acquiring them from China in just eight months rather than years that defense manufacturers normally take to deliver a fighter jet such as the J-10C.
The J-10C fighter jet is a multi-role combat aircraft capable of all-weather operations. It is primarily designed for air-to-air combat but it can perform strike missions as well.
In the last article of this special series, we compared JF-17 and J-10C. In the latest edition, we are going to compare F-16 and J-10C. So without further ado, let’s dive straight into it.
While the F-16 is lighter than J-10C and belongs to a previous generation, both have a similar engine and are designed for a similar role.
|Generation||4th generation||4.5th generation|
The length of F-16 is shorter than J-10C while its fuel capacity is also significantly lower than J-10C. Both jets have almost similar remaining features.
|Length||49 feet 5 inches||55 feet 2 inches|
|Wingspan||32 feet 8 inches||32 feet 2 inches|
|Height||16 feet||18 feet 8 inches|
|Wing area||300 sq. ft.||400 sq. ft.|
|Empty weight||8,936 kg||9,750 kg|
|Max takeoff weight||16,875 kg||19,277 kg|
|Fuel capacity||8,618 kg||7,380 kg|
|Powerplant||1 × Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofan, 79 kN thrust dry, 131.5 kN with afterburner||1 x WS-10B afterburning turbofan engines, 89.17 kN thrust dry, 142 kN with afterburner|
F-16 has a superior maximum speed and ferry range compared to the J-10. The rest of the characteristics are almost identical.
|Maximum Speed||Mach 2.05||Mach 1.8|
|Ferry Range||4,217 km||2,950 km|
|Service ceiling||58,000 feet||56,000 feet|
Both jets are loaded with a wide range of guns, rockets, air-to-air missiles, and air-to-surface missiles.
|Guns||1 × 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan 6-barrel rotary cannon, 511 rounds||1× Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-23|
|Hardpoints||2 × wing-tip air-to-air missile launch rails, 6 × under-wing, and 3 × under-fuselage pylon (2 of 3 for sensors) stations with a capacity of up to 7,700 kg of stores||11 (6× under-wing, 2× under-intake and 3× under-fuselage) with a capacity of 5600 kg of external fuel and ordnance|
|Rockets||LAU-61/LAU-68 rocket pods (each with 19/7 × Hydra 70 mm/APKWS rockets, respectively
LAU-5003 rocket pods (each with 19 × CRV7 70 mm rockets)
LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4 × Zuni 127 mm rockets)
|90 mm unguided rocket|
|Air-to-air Missiles||AIM-9 Sidewinder
|Air-to-surface Missles||AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
|Anti-ship Missiles||AGM-84 Harpoon
|Bombs||CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition
CBU-89 Gator mine
CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon
Mark 84 general-purpose bombs
Mark 83 GP bombs
Mark 82 GP bombs
GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
GBU-10 Paveway II
GBU-12 Paveway II
GBU-24 Paveway III
GBU-27 Paveway III
Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) series
Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD)
B61 nuclear bomb
B83 nuclear bomb
|250 kg and 500 kg Pre-fragmented bomb
|AN/APG-68 radar||Type 1473H pulse-doppler fire control radar|
|MIL-STD-1553 bus||K/JDC01A targeting pod|
|Type Hongguang-I infra-red search and track pod|
|CM-802AKG targeting pod for KD-88 and YJ-91|
|KG600 electronic countermeasure pod|
|Blue Sky navigation/attack pod|
|F-16F||J-10B TVC Demonstrator|
Note that Pakistan is the first country that has acquired the J10-C from China and most details of the export variant of the Chinese fighter jet are yet to be revealed officially.