In this article:
TOPGUN F-16 runway excursion
A US Navy F-16A departed the runway at NAS Lemoore during a routine training mission last week. As reported by Alert 5 the jet is F-16 BuNo 900945 and is assigned to NAS Fallon’s US Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN).
According to NAS Lemoore Facebook page the aircraft has been recovered;
‘An incredible level of teamwork at NASL to recover this F-16, from Naval Air Station Fallon, that departed the runway during a routine training mission last week. Shout out to NASL Public Works, NASL Transportation, Fresno Air National Guard, NASL Air Operations, Fed Fire, Edwards Air Force Base, American Crane Rental, and several of NASL’s finest AV’s (avionics technicians). This coordinated effort, which took precise planning, safely moved the jet back onto the runway without any complications. Thank you to the many entities that came together to make this happen!’
TOPGUN F-16s are tasked to provide the highest quality adversary training for regular Navy fleet and replacement squadrons and air wings, reserve fighter and attack squadrons, US Air Force and US Marine Corps units.
After the US Navy retired the F-16N in 1995 the service in 2002 began to receive 14 F-16A and B models from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) that were originally intended for Pakistan before being embargoed.
Moreover, the US Navy started to receive F-16 Vipers retired by the US Air Force (USAF) as part of the plan to increase its adversary air capabilities. The US Navy is set to receive a total of 20 single-seat Block 32 F-16Cs and 6 two-seat Block 25 F-16Ds. The F-16C/Ds are replacing the F-5N Tiger IIs belonging to Fleet Composite Squadron (VFC) 13 “Fighting Saints,” at NAS Fallon in Nevada which is the Navy’s Reserve Force Squadron that specializes in replicating adversary threats or ‘red air’ in support of TOPGUN.
As the photos in this post show, like their F-16N predecessors the TOPGUN (and the US Navy adversary) F-16s are painted in a variety of colorful paint schemes to better represent the enemy aircraft that are called to represent in Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) sessions.
Designed by General Dynamics as a lightweight, daytime USAF air-combat fighter, the F-16 was first flown on January 20th, 1974. This single-engine, supersonic aircraft has, over the years, evolved into a multirole aircraft. It has a frameless bubble canopy-giving its pilot superior visibility-and it uses advanced aerodynamics. The F-16 was one of the first designs to use a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire system, which helps it pull 9-g maneuvers and achieve speeds of more than Mach 2.
Photo credit: US Navy