Inverted F-16 Fighting Falcon Shows Belly Full of Weapons

That the F-16 Fighting Falcon is a machine made to bring death from above is no secret. Officially a multirole fighter, the General Dynamics (and later on Lockheed) bird of prey can pack serious punch when it needs to prove a point.
F-16 Fighting Falcon flying inverted 28 photos
Photo: USAF/Master Sgt. Matthew Plew
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The F-16 is one of the most widespread military aircraft in the world, with some 4,600 of them having rolled off the lines since the early 1970s, and then getting jobs in the service of the militaries of some 25 countries. America, of course, has the largest fleet of them.

Being so widespread means the F-16 is most likely the fighter you see patrolling the skies over your neighborhood from time to time. Chances are, though, it’s not packing a lot of firepower, given how flights over friendly areas have a slim chance of ending in a fight.

Not the same can be said though about patrolling missions in the sky over places like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, or Syria. These are just a few of the countries the U.S. Air Force (USAF) calls its central area of responsibility and whose skies are regularly supervised by its birds.

In the most recently released image from the area (and taken back in June), the USAF shows us how loaded F-16s are when going out on missions there. The plane, flown by a pilot of the 179th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, was inverted at the time the photo was snapped, its canopy oriented towards the desert below, and its belly toward the Sun and the camera-wielding master sergeant that happened to be nearby, ready the snap the pic.

On paper, the F-16 packs multi-barrel cannons and external mounts that can hold air-to-air missiles, air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions, and electronic countermeasure pods. The variety of weaponry deployed on each wing of this particular plane seems to cover them all.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows various other F-16s.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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