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The F-16 is a single engine, multi-mission tactical aircraft that is highly maneuverable and has proven to be a great threat in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. When developed, the F-16 was intended to be a cost-effective "workhorse" that could perform various kinds of missions and maintain around-the-clock readiness for the United States and allied nations.
The F-16 is much simpler and lighter than its predecessors, but uses advanced aerodynamics and avionics, including the first use of fly-by-wire, to maintain high performance. It is equipped with a 40 nautical mile search-track radar, and can also be equipped with a myriad list of electronic warfare equipment necessary for training.
In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point.
Currently 23 countries around the world operate the F-16 and it continues to grow in popularity. TADS is positioning itself to utilize fully functional F-16 fighters for its new pilot training as well as its DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) exercises.