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F-16 Fighting Falcons Hide From the Rain Under $30 Million Worth of Shelters

We’re used to seeing the F-16 Fighting Falcon, arguably the most impressive, widespread, and reliable fighter jet ever devised, doing all sorts of impressive, warrior-like things, most of them in the air, its natural environment.
F-16 Fighting Falcons hiding from the rain in South Korea 24 photos
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Hiding from something is not usually on the list of things this plane is known to do, but here they are, two of them, taking shelter from the rain that poured down on the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea back in late April.

Although technically there’s nothing to stop airplanes from being left out in the rain, as water is not known to damage them, the military does use shelters from time to time, mostly because they need to protect the people working to turn the planes around, and the equipment they use in the process.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF), and others, call these airplane shelters aircraft flows, or flow-through shelters, or hardened aircraft shelters (HAS). The ones you see here have been installed at Kunsan starting in 2016, and are worth, in all some $30 million - about 20 of them had been erected by 2020 at the base.

The Air Force uses them to cut down the time aircraft spends on the runway before being ready to head out again. According to Maj. Curtis Switzer, assistant director of operations for the 35th Fighter Squadron stationed there, without these shelters the aircraft would need to taxi back to the HAS from where it landed, shut down, and "get pushed back into the HAS before any maintenance, fueling or weapon loading could take place.”

With these things there, F-16s can come in, fuel up, and get going again in no time. The shelters are good against rain, too, if we haven’t made that clear enough yet, and the 35th is willing to share them with any squadron at Kunsan.

Editor's note: Gallery shows various other F-16s.

 
 
 
 
 

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