F-16s delivered to the Royal Jordanian Air Force

Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16AM 247 (ex KLu J-199, FMS 83-1199) takes off from Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands for the first leg of its delivery flight to Jordan.
Kees van der Mark

The Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) took delivery of the first six of 15 former Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu, Royal Netherlands Air Force) F-16s in late-October. Five F-16AMs and a single F-16BM departed Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands on October 25, for their new home al-Azraq Air Base. There, the former Dutch jets joined 2 Squadron, which operated former US Air Force Block 15 ADF F-16As and F-16Bs until 2014, when they were transferred to the Pakistan Air Force. The remaining nine ex- KLu F-16s selected for delivery to Jordan – eight F-16AMs and one F-16BM – are scheduled to fly to their new owner in two groups before mid-December.

The contract for the sale of 15 surplus KLu F-16s was signed on December 17, 2013, as part of a programme dubbed Peace Falcon VI. Delivery was initially set for late 2015/early 2016, but was delayed by two years due to issues with the Mid-Life Update (MLU) configuration and related US approval. The Dutch Ministry of Defence initially declared that the F-16s would be delivered to Jordan in an older M5 software version, but more recently declined to confirm reports from Jordan that the aircraft were eventually delivered in a RJAF-specific configuration of the current M6.5 tape (updating Dutch F-16s Prepared for Delivery to Jordan, August, p17).

Also included in the €76.46 million deal is the transfer of support equipment and spare parts, as well as training of technical personnel and pilots. RJAF pilots flew training missions from Leeuwarden Air Base for two weeks in late September/ early October, using F-16BMs J-208 and J-884 and F-16AM J-872. The jets flew twice a day in this period, always in pairs and with at least one F-16BM with a Dutch instructor pilot in the back seat. In a related deal worth €4.75 million, the Dutch Defence Materiel Organisation delivered 52 infraredguided AGM-65G Maverick airto- surface weapons and support equipment to the RJAF in 2015. Kees van der Mark