The first six of 15 former Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s sold to Jordan were delivered to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) in late October.
Taking off from Volkel Air Base in the Netherlands on October 25, the jets – comprising F-16BM 236 (ex J-884, FMS 81-0884) and F-16AMs 240 (J-638, FMS 80-3638), 243 (J-872, FMS 81-0872), 244 (J-873, FMS 81-0873), 247 (J-199, FMS 83-1199) and 248 (J-145, FMS 85-0145) – routed to their new home base Al Azraq in Jordan via Aviano Air Base in Italy and Souda Bay in Greece.
In a deal signed in 2013, 13 surplus F-16AMs and two F-16BMs were sold to Jordan. All are configured to Mid-Life Update (MLU) M5 software standard.
In recent years, the jets were stored at Volkel Air Base pending their delivery. Work on the F-16s is mainly carried out there, although Leeuwarden Air Base and the RNLAF’s Logistic Centre at Woensdrecht Air Base are also involved. In May, F-16AM J-199 and F-16BM J-208 made a number of test flights from Leeuwarden related to the specific RJAF MLU configuration.
The RJAF previously took delivery of six ex-RNLAF F-16BMs in July 2009. Former RNLAF F-16s also found their way to the Chilean Air Force: 29 F-16AMs and seven F-16BMs were delivered to Chile in two batches of 18 aircraft each in 2006-07 and 2010-11. The RNLAF still has 68 F-16s left, including seven used as operational reserve. They are scheduled for replacement by at least 37 F-35As in 2019-24. Kees van der Mark