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Former Dutch F-16 for Jordan

Due to budget limitations in the Dutch Air Force ('Koninklijke Luchtmacht'), 6 LockheedMartin (former General Dynamics) F-16 aircraft were sold to the Jordan Air Force. In 2007 a contract was signed to sell 6 surplus F-16BM models (B stands for the trainer version and M indicates the Mid-Life-Update (MLU)). At the same time the Jordan Air Force bought 18 F-16 A/B aircraft from the Belgium Air Force, which were delivered in 2008 and 2009.

Tuesday morning July 28th 2009,the 6 trainer F-16s took off from the Leeuwarden airbase in the north of the Netherlands. 2 stops were planned, a lunch-stop at Aviano AFB in Italy and a night-stop at Souda Bay (Greece). On the 29th the final flight to the Jordanian airbase of Muafaq Al-Salti would take place. One day earlier, on Monday July 27th 2009, the final acceptance flights took place with a Dutch pilot in the front seat and a Jordanian Pilot in the back-seat, afterwards the aircraft were officially handed over to the Jordan Air Force. At the same time, these aircraft were withdrawn from the Dutch aviation registry. The aircraft were handed over by the DMO ('Defensie Material Organisatie', Defense Material Organization), a separate organization within the Dutch armed forces, in charge of procurement, maintenance and selling materials (tanks, aircraft, ships, guns etc). The DMO took control of the aircraft a few months earlier, when the aircraft were withdrawn from the operational strength of the Dutch Air Force.

Modifications were made to the aircraft, according to recommendations by the aircraft manufacturer(LockheedMartin) and the United States Air Force. The applied modifications were verified by a representative of the US embassy in the Netherlands.

One week after the final delivery to Jordan, an ceremony will take place at the Muafaq Al-Salti airbase and the aircraft will be delivered to nr 2 squadron. A representative of DMO, general De Zeeuw, will attend this ceremony. To finish off the delivery, some containers with material (spare parts, manuals etc) will be sent by sea to Jordan.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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