List of F-16 Fighting Falcon operators

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon operators

The United States Air Force (USAF), four of its NATO partners, and Pakistan, a major non-NATO ally, are the primary operators of General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. With the evolution of sales under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contracts, many other air forces have also acquired F-16s. Most nations that have bought F-16s continue to use them as of 2010.

The F-16 is still in demand today, and many air forces are looking to replace aging inventories with F-16s. Because the USAF has steadily upgraded its F-16 inventory, it will sometimes sell older aircraft it considers obsolete as surplus Excess Defense Articles (EDAs) or as "knockdown" aircraft to supplement spares inventories.

United States operators

Several commands of the United States Air Force (USAF) as well as the United States Navy (USN) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) use various models of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

United States Air Force

The USAF operates 1,245 F-16s with 701 with active forces, 490 with Air National Guard and 54 with Reserve. These are broken down to 1 F-16A Block 15, 197 F-16C/D Block 25, 350 F-16C/D Block 30, 51 F-16C/D Block 32, 222 F-16C/D Block 40, 174 F-16C/D Block 42, 198 F-16C/D Block 50, 52 F-16C/D Block 52.[1]

Air Combat Command

Air Combat Command (ACC) is the descendant of the merger of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) and Strategic Air Command (SAC). ACC is the primary combat aircraft operator of the United States Air Force. Originally, all new F-16s would be delivered to TAC or ACC and then transferred to other commands, but now aircraft are often delivered directly to the other commands.

Air Education and Training Command

The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) provides for most of the US Air Force's F-16 training facilities and operations. The command also provides for training of foreign air forces operating the F-16, with two squadrons providing training for Singapore and Taiwan.

The descendant of the merger of the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) and the Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC), Air Force Materiel Command is responsible for providing, testing, and maintaining US Air Force equipment. As such, it plays a large part in the F-16 program, both in testing the aircraft and its weapon systems. It utilizes the F-16 for numerous tests for weapons equipping many US Air Force aircraft. Additionally, it operates overhaul programs to maintain the F-16 fleet of not only the US Air Force, but several foreign air forces as well.

Air Force Reserve Command

The delivery of the F-16 to the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) marked the first aircraft type to be delivered new, changing the long policy of merely passing older airframes on from the active forces to the Air Force Reserve. AFRC currently operates Block 25, 30, and 32 aircraft.

Air National Guard

As with the Air Force Reserve, the F-16 marked the transition of the Air National Guard (ANG) to a viable fighting force complementary to active-duty units, as opposed to the second-line force of out-of-date aircraft it had been. The F-16 remains a key part of the ANG force structure.

Pacific Air Forces

Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) was an early recipient of the F-16 and PACAF operates the latest models of the F-16 today.

US Air Forces in Europe

Once PACAF began receiving its F-16, US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) became a recipient of the F-16. USAFE F-16s have been common participants in most recent US military operations in Europe and the Middle East.

United States Navy

While the United States Navy chose the competing McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet for development as a carrier-based strike fighter, the service still had a need for an aggressor aircraft to supplement the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk and Northrop F-5E Tiger II aircraft posing as enemy fighters to help train Navy pilots in dissimilar air combat training (DACT). The lightweight F-16 was ideal for the job, and the F-16N version was specifically developed for the task. With removal of the internal cannon (compensated by ballast), the F-16N and two-seat TF-16N served for a number of years before retirement. The F-16 was reintroduced to the aggressor role for the US Navy with the acquisition of some of the Pakistani F-16A/B-15OCU aircraft embargoed before delivery to that country and they remain in use today at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) at NAS Fallon, Nevada. The US Navy operates 40 F-16s.[2]

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Not a military force, NASA plays a vital role in research and development of aerospace technology. Its fleet contains two exotic F-16 models (bailed from USAF), the F-16XL and F-16A AFTI, both involved in researching advanced technologies for application to not only the F-16, but other aircraft as well. Additionally, a number of standard F-16s have been operated by NASA as chase aircraft and engine testbeds.

Original NATO partners

Once selected by the United States, it was further decided to form a partnership between the United States Air Force, then beginning development of the plane for service, and nations of the NATO alliance who had a similar need for a lightweight fighter. Four such nations chose to join the development effort, and became part as well of the production and sub-contracting work to build the Fighting Falcon. The four European partners, collectively known as the European Participating Governments (EPG), are Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway; their air forces are likewise referred to as the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF).


Belgium was the largest initial buyer of the F-16 of the four original NATO partners, and also was a primary producer of the aircraft as part of the partnership. Belgium's initial order brought delivery of 116 F-16A and F-16B fighters in blocks 1, 5, 10, and 15, beginning in 1979, and was completed in 1985. A follow-on order for 44 F-16A-15OCU and F-16B-15OCU aircraft was completed in 1991.


Denmark was the smallest member of the NATO partnership, with the Royal Danish Air Force accepting 58 aircraft under Denmark's initial order. A small follow-on order brought a further twelve aircraft to Denmark, and two further attrition replacement orders have been placed, totaling seventy planes between them.


The Netherlands, like Belgium, made substantial orders for the F-16, and built aircraft at the Fokker plant. A total of 102 aircraft were initially ordered, but these were followed by substantial follow-on orders for a total of 111 additional aircraft. 52 of these were F-16A/B-15OCU aircraft. These orders brought total Dutch F-16 deliveries to 213. 108 of them received the Mid-Life-Update (MLU).


Norway joined the original NATO-USAF partnership to replace its ageing Lockheed F-104 Starfighter squadrons. In 1975, Norway placed an order for 72 F-16A/B aircraft, delivered between 1980 and 1984. Unlike the other partners, there have been no follow-up orders, except for a single order in 1989 for two F-16B-15OCU aircraft as replacements for crashed aircraft. All the aircraft have received the Mid-Life-Update (MLU), and they received the new, helmet-mounted sighting system.



After protracted negotiations the Hellenic Air Force ordered the F-16 in 1985. FMS program PEACE XENIA was begun with delivery of 40 F-16C/D Block 30 aircraft in 1989 and 1990. This was followed by an order for 40 F-16C/D Block 50 fighters, delivered in 1997 and 1998. In June 2000 a further order for 50 F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft was made with an option of 10 more fighters, exercised in September 2001. All 60 aircraft (40 C-model aircraft and 20 missionized D-model) were delivered by June 2004. On December 2005 the Greek government signed an LOA for the delivery of 30 additional F-16C/D Block 52M with an option on 10 more. The first batch consists of 20 C-models and 10 D-models, while first deliveries are due in 2009.


330 Squadron Thunderbolt F-16C/D Block 30

335 Squadron Tiger F-16C/D Block 52+ Advanced

337 Squadron Ghost F-16C/D Block 52+

340 Squadron Fox F-16C/D Block 52+

341 Squadron Arrow F-16C/D Block 50

343 Squadron Star F-16C/D Block 52+

347 Squadron Perseus F-16C/D Block 50


Italy has decided on the Eurofighter Typhoon as its next generation of air-defense fighter, however this aircraft faced delivery delays for some time. In the meantime, 24 Panavia Tornado ADV jets from the United Kingdom were leased to cover the gap. This lease ran out in 2003, without the Typhoon being ready for service. The solution was provided by a five-year lease of 34 F-16 aircraft with an option to extend the lease for other five years. 30 aircraft were F-16A/B-15ADF while the remaining four aircraft were earlier block aircraft for spares. These were all used U.S. Air Force fighters. In June 2010, the Italian Air Force started the return of the F-16s to the United States which was completed on 23 May 2012, when all the Italian F-16 were returned to the USA.[3]

The Italian Foreign Military Sales program was known as PEACE CAESAR.


One of the former members of the Warsaw Pact that was looking to replace an aging fleet of Soviet-built Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 (withdrawn in service in 1999 due to their small numbers and uneconomical operation) and the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 fighters (withdrawn from service in 2003), Poland conducted a competition between the Mirage 2000-5 Mk.2, the JAS 39 Gripen, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 (the last offer was withdrawn), and the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Despite a strong challenge by the BAe/SAAB team, Poland purchased 48 F-16C/D-52+ aircraft. The aircraft were delivered from 2006 under the PEACE SKY program, to avoid confusion with the PZL W-3 Sokół (Polish language "Falcon") helicopter, these jet fighters were nicknamed the F-16 Jastrząb (Goshawk) in Polish. Now, the F-16, along with 32 Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 fighters and 48 Sukhoi Su-22 ground attack aircraft are the main offensive strike force for Polish Air Force.

There were problems with the introduction of the Polish F-16s and they were often grounded with faults, they were given an unofficial nickname "nielot" (non flying).[4][5]

They have also been delays in the offset program, the United States has not made all the promised investments in Poland that were part of the deal. Offset deals in 2011 reached $6 billion out of $6.028 billion planned ($9.8 billion at time when offer was chosen), however only one-third of recognised offsets commitment were direct investments in Polish economy.[6][7]

According to a former Polish military defence vice-minister, the offer for JAS 39 Gripen was a better deal.[8] F-16s cost $3.5 billion compare to 3.2 billion euro for Saab's Gripen and 3.6 billion euro for Dassault offer,[9] at that time both currency had similar value.


The Portuguese Air Force chose the F-16 during the 1980s to replace its aging and obsolescent LTV A-7 Corsair II attack aircraft which were no longer suitable for air-to-air combat and were facing severe logistical problems.[10][11][12]

The Portuguese Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE ATLANTIS.

Peace Atlantis I

In August 1990 the government of then-Prime Minister Cavaco Silva signed a Letter Of Acceptance (LoA) which lead to the creation of the Peace Atlantis I program. The funds used for the purchase were made available through the Foreign Military Sales program, partly a payment for the use by the United States of Lajes Air Base in the Azores. Initially the United States proposed to supply Portugal with Block 10 surplus aircraft. However this option rested on a first order of 20 newly built F-16 Block 15 OCU (17 A-models and three B-models) with Pratt & Whitney F100 engines, which made them almost identical to the US Air National Guard's F-16 ADF. Deliveries of this first order began on February 18, 1994, and was completed on July 18 in the same year.

The initial group of Portuguese F-16 pilots was constituted by fighter pilots from the 302 and 304 Squadrons, received training in Tucson, Arizona, between January and June 1994.

During the War in Kosovo, it was seen that while the Portuguese F-16s were recently obtained, they were no longer up to the same level as most modern fighters used by other NATO countries. In 1999, during the Portuguese participation in the conflict (Operation Allied Force), the three F-16 fighters deployed by Portugal were relegated to escort missions and combat air patrols due to their lack of modern armament and air-to-ground targeting systems.

Peace Atlantis II

During 1996, during the government of then-Prime Minister António Guterres, new negotiations took place concerning the possible purchase of new of F-16 fighters and the modernization those aircraft. The Pentagon approved of the deal on November 20, 1997, and on November 30, 1998, Portugal signed the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA) for 25 second-hand F - 16 Block 15 (21 A and four B) that had be used by the U.S. Air National Guard. Under the program these would be offered by the United States at zero cost and free of charge as Excess Defense Articles under the Southern Regional Amendment to the Arms Export and Control Act, with Portugal being responsible for their transportation to Europe and for the modernization costs.

Included in the LoA and in the Peace Atlantis II program was also the purchase of new Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220E engines, 20 upgrade kits, logistics support and training.

Initially, the plan consisted in only upgrading the second-hand aircraft of the Peace Atlantis II program and of transferring the F-16s from the Peace Atlantis I to a second squadron with the mission of performing tactical air support actions and tactical air support for maritime operations (TASMO), which wouldn't require the MLU kit.

Of the second-hand F-16s, five of the airframes were used as spare parts, and only the remaining 20 F-16s were intended for upgrade for day & night all-weather operations, by receiving the Falcon UP structural upgrade, the F100-PW-220E engine upgrade and the Mid-Life update (MLU) avionics and cockpit upgrade, to equip the 301 Squadron.

Current status

The Mid-Life upgrade (MLU) was performed in Portugal by the Air Force's workshops at Monte Real and by OGMA in Alverca. In 2001, employees of the LMTAS modified the first two aircraft in a Lead-the-Fleet program, with Portuguese technicians observing. The first F-16 AM was delivered on June 2003, and the PoAF personnel performed the modification of the remaining 18 aircraft.

Currently the Portuguese F-16 fleet uses the AN/ALQ-131 ECM pods, that had originally been bought for the A-7P Corsair IIs, and the new Rafael LITENING II targeting pods. One aircraft has been preserved for public display and two aircraft have been lost in accidents.

In 2006 the Portuguese government put 12 F-16 for sale.[10] On September 25, 2012, Romania and Portugal started negotiations for the sale of 12 used F-16s from Portugal in a deal worth $600 million. Aircraft are to be delivered to Romania over the next five years.[13][14][15][16] On October 11, 2013, the Romanian National Defense Ministry announced the signing of the contract for the purchase of 12 used F16.[17]

Portuguese Air Force
Operating Units Model Location
201 Squadron "Falcões" F-16 AM
F-16 BM
Air Base No. 5, Monte Real
301 Squadron "Jaguares"

Middle East


The small country of Bahrain originally ordered the F-16 in 1987, agreeing to buy eight Block 40 F-16Cs and four F-16Ds under the PEACE CROWN program. These aircraft arrived prior to the first Persian Gulf War. After this, with the increasing military presence of the United States, Bahrain sought further enhancement of its air force and the replacement of its F-5 Tiger II fighters. Initial talks centered on the F-16N being withdrawn from service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, but ultimately, it was decided to purchase ten new Block 40 F-16C aircraft.


Since the historic Camp David accords, Egypt has actively sought to re-equip its military with western weapons. Thus, it has become a large customer for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which fits well with Egyptian defense needs. No fewer than six separate PEACE VECTOR programs have delivered 42 F-16A/B-15, 40 F-16C/D-32, and 138 F-16C/D-40 fighters to the Egyptian Air Force by 2002.[18] In March 2010 it was announced that Egypt would purchase an additional 20 Block 52 aircraft (16 F-16Cs and 4 F-16Ds).[19] The Egyptian Air Force operated 220 F-16s at that point, making it the world's 4th largest F-16 operator.[20] 4 of the F-16s ordered were delivered on 3 February 2013, raising the number of aircraft delivered to 224. The remaining 16 will be delivered through 2013.[21] Following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état, the Pentagon had said deliveries of the jets would continue. On 24 July 2013 however, President Barack Obama announced the F-16 deliveries would be halted due to continuing political unrest.[22]


The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is the second largest user of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, second only to the U.S. Air Force and its reserve components. The IAF achieved the type's first air-to-air victories when IAF pilots shot down two aircraft, a Mi-8 helicopter and a MiG-21 Fishbed fighter plane, both Syrian, in April and July 1981.[23]

The IAF took delivery of its first F-16s earlier than expected after the cancellation of the sale of F-16s to the Iranian Air Force. The IAF had announced plans to buy 75 F-16s as early as 1978, and deliveries were carried out under American Foreign Military Sales program Peace Marble I. These F-16As and Bs received the nickname Hebrew "Netz" (Hawk). Peace Marble II witnessed the delivery of a further 75 block 30 F-16Cs and F-16Ds to the IAF. Israel's F-16 fleet was further expanded by Peace Marble III, which brought 30 block-40 F-16Cs and 30 two-seat F-16Ds to the IAF between 1991 and 1993. These newer models were nicknamed "Barak" ("lightning"). In part to reward Israel for its restraint during the Gulf War, a shipment of 50 US-surplus F-16As and F-16Bs were delivered in 1994.

In a deal worth $4.5 billion, Israel also ordered 102 additional block 52+ F-16Ds, designated the F-16I nicknamed "Sufa" (Storm). Deliveries of these took place between 2004 and 2009.[24]

In July 2013, Israel began a program called Teuza (boldness) for the purpose of turning some military bases into sales lots for obsolete IDF equipment. Older models that are not suited for Israel's modern high-tech forces will be sold off, or sold for scrap if there are no buyers. Old-model F-16 jets are among those being offered. Main buyers are expected from Latin American, Asian, and African countries.[25] Later that month, Major General Amir Eshel ordered the immediate shutdown of two squadrons of F-16A/B fighters, without any advance warning to the squadrons' air and ground crews. The shutdown was because of military cuts and the mission capability of one F-16I compared to several older models. The aging F-16A/Bs were planned to be decommissioned in 2017 with the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The decision was made to advance the retirement of the aging platforms. One F-16A/B squadron is serving as an advanced jet trainer unit until the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master is delivered in 2014.[26]


The Iraqi Air Force was looking to buy 36 F-16s for its air force in late 2008 in replace of phased-off Russian and Chinese fighters during Saddam Hussein's regime acquired after Iran-Iraq War.[27][28] In the spring of 2009, the decision was made to spend $1.5 billion on an initial order of 18 F-16 fighters. Later purchases could bring the total buy to 96.[29] The first set is to be delivered by 2014, with all 36 currently ordered delivered by 2018.[30]


Like Egypt, Jordan opened the door to modern American arms sales by reaching a peace agreement with Israel, this one in 1994. Jordan then arranged for a lease of air defense F-16s from the United States, and to transfer ownership eventually. The program was successful, providing Jordan with 16 F-16A/B ADF fighters in 1997 and 1998 under Peace Falcon I program, RJAF recognized the need to give these aircraft a mid-life update (MLU) in the next 2 or 3 years. (2 F-16A Block 15 ADF aircraft crashed over the years of service).[31] A second Peace Falcon II program delivered a further 17 aircraft of similar type. All of the 17 F-16A/B upgraded by TAI to F-16AM/BM MLU standard. In 2005, Jordan purchased 16 F-16AM/BM Peace Falcon III from Belgium.[32] Later the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) pursued more second hand purchases in 2006 6 F-16BM Peace Falcon IV purchased from RNLAF,[33] An additional 9 F-16AM/BM Peace Falcon V delivered in July/Aug 2011 from Belgium,[31] the purchase totaled 31 aircraft, putting the RJAF in a good position with 62 F-16s.

  • The Jordanian Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE FALCON.
Peace Falcon I

On July 29, 1996, a $220 million agreement was signed between the United States and Jordan authorizing the lease of 16 F-16 fighter jets (12 F-16A and 4 F-16B aircraft) to Jordan. This agreement, formally signed by Field Marshal Marei, chief of staff of the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces and Major General Ababneh, chief of staff of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, was linked to the Middle East peace process and close US-Jordanian relations. The complete material/training support agreement, known as the F-16 Peace Falcon Program, includes funding for aircraft structural upgrades, engine modifications, support equipment and spare parts procurement, and pilot/maintenance training.

The agreement consisted of two lease contracts and a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA). The first lease was a no-cost lease for Jordan, covering 13 aircraft (12 A models and 1 B model, block 15 OCU's that were modified into ADF (Air Defense Fighters) versions. Under the Arms Export Control Act, the DOD was able to provide these aircraft at a no-cost lease because they had flown off over 75 percent of their life (i.e. more than 3,000 hour). Three of the B-model aircraft still had more than 25 percent of their life left and they fall under the second $4.5 million lease. Both leases cover a 5 year period. The LOA is for $215 million, covering all costs associated with upgrading those aircraft, doing the structural modifications to them, the engine upgrades, providing the support equipment, the logistics, the training.

The aircraft, all of which have flown previously by active Air Force and Air National Guard units, had been in storage for at least a year at the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona before they were shipped to Hill AFB, Utah. There the Aircraft Directorate personnel from the Ogden Air Logistics Center performed structural upgrades to extend aircraft life from the designed 4,000 to 8,000 hours flying time as part of the Falcon-Up/Service Life Improvement program. They also modified the aircraft engine bay to accept the upgraded Pratt and Whitney F100-220E engine. New ground was broken with this Foreign military Sales program: taking 'used' F-16s from the desert (AMARC), completely refurbishing and modifying them and delivering the aircraft to the customer within a 17-month time frame.

On October 14, 1997 Lt. Col. Scott Curtis, flying safety officer at Hill AFB, pushed the throttles forward and released the brakes on his F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. Within a matter of seconds the aircraft accelerated to 140 knots and the first Jordanian F-16 (tail number #80-0547) was airborne. It took more than 13,000 man-hours to get this F-16 ready for its first flight. The #80-0547 had not flown since November 1994, when it was flown from the ANG Station in Garden City, N.J. to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, Davis-Monthan, Arizona. The official roll-out of the Peace Falcon was on October 28, 1997, on Hill AFB, Utah.

The Jordan program required that six aircraft be available for ferry flight delivery to Jordan in December 1997, and five each to be available for ferry flight in January and February 1998. At that time, the RJAF planned to acquire as much as 60-70 F-16s (if possible C/D models), enough to equip 3 squadrons.

Peace Falcon II

There have been talks about a second batch of 16 refurbished F-16s, which would have been delivered under the Peace Falcon II program. After initial talks in 1999, no further news has become available about this program. The RJAF is still looking for a replacement for its obsolete F-5 fighters which are due within a couple of years. They are in favor of acquiring another batch of F-16s for this replacement.

On January 29, 2003, numerous sources indicated that Jordan received 6 F-16 fighters that day in a ceremony held at Shahid Muafaq Al-Satlti AFB. This ceremony was attended by prince Faisal bin Hussain and US ambassador Jordan Edward W. Gnehm. The US embassy in Amman stated that these 6 aircraft were the first of a batch of another 17 (12 A's and 5 B's) that would be delivered to Jordan during the year 2003. All these aircraft are former US ANG F-16 ADF's. These aircraft are to be upgraded with the MLU modification (See Modifications and Armament).

Ultimately, 16 A-models and 1 B-model was delivered to the RJAF. Most of those airframes were put into storage waiting for their MLU conversion. In 2008 these modifications were in full swing at the TUSAS facility in Ankara, Turkey. By 2009 all of those modified airframes will be delivered back to Jordan for operational use.

Peace Falcon III

In 2005 the RJAF contacted the Dutch and Belgian governments for a batch of F-16s. In April 2006 representatives of both air forces flew to Amman to sign a Letter of Intent for the acquisition of up to 22 ex-Dutch (8 airframes) and ex-Belgian (14 airframes) F-16s. The lot would consist of 17 A-models and 5 B-models (Netherlands: 5 A-models, 3 B-models; Belgium: 12 A-models, 2 B-models). All these aircraft have undergone the MLU upgrade which gives the Jordanians a serious boost in air power and also a sneak preview of the possibilities they will gain after their entire fleet is upgraded with this package. The aircraft are due to be delivered in 2007-2008.

In 2009 a total of 16 Belgian F-16s (12 A's and 4 B's) were delivered, but the Dutch order for A-models was canceled. By that time it became apparent that only the 3 B-models of the first purchase from the Netherlands and the 3 B-models included in the second purchase would be handed over to Jordan during 2009 as part of Peace Falcon IV.

Peace Falcon IV

Completely out of the blue the Dutch Secretary of Defence announced at the Dubai Air Show in November 2005 that he had signed a Letter of Intent for the purchase of 3 F-16B's by the RJAF. The aircraft are to be used as training assets and are due for delivery in 2006.

In the end, the number of aircraft was raised to 6. All of them being F-16BM's. The delivery of those was postponed until the summer of 2009.

Peace Falcon V

In 2009 the Belgian government decided to put another 9 F-16AM's for sale. The first country to respond was Jordan and negotiations have been ongoing till 2011. Finally the delivery consisted of 6 F-16AM's and 3 F-16BM's, all delivered in July 2011. The number of Jordanian F-16s rises to 64 airframes with this delivery.


In May 2002, the Sultanate of Oman signed an agreement with the U.S. government to purchase 12 Advanced Block 50 F-16s in the PEACE A'SAMA A'SAFIYA ("Clear Skies") Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The agreement includes eight single-seat F-16Cs and four two-seat F-16Ds.[4]

United Arab Emirates

It was surprising to some to find the F-16 the winner of the UAE's high-end fighter competition, beating both the Dassault Rafale and F-15 Eagle. The key was a highly advanced configuration that became the F-16E/F-60, with the UAE as its first customer. A total of 80 aircraft were ordered.



The Bush administration announced plans to sell Morocco 24 F-16C/D fighters and 24 T-6B trainers aircraft valued at up to $2.6 billion on 27 December 2007.[34] The sale was officially announced on 6 June 2008[35] and deliveries commenced in July 2011.[36] All F-16s were delivered by the end of August 2012.[37]



A small operator of the F-16, Indonesia received a single allotment of 8 F-16A and 4 F-16B aircraft. With the loss of two F-16As the fleet is now only ten aircraft.[38] A purchase of nine more aircraft was cancelled in favor of 12 Su-30KI and 8 Mil Mi-17, some sources state 24 Su-30KI. This order was also cancelled due to the Asian Financial Crisis.[39][40] The Indonesian Air Force are planning to upgrade their F-16A and B aircraft to F-16C/D variants by the end of 2009 and there is an option of purchasing new F-16C/Ds to replace their retired, but in reserve, F-5E Tiger II's.[41] From 2000 to 2005 the US imposed an arms embargo on Indonesia which resulted in the F-16 squadron being grounded due to a lack of spare parts. The Indonesian Air Force was seeking approval to purchase 6 new F-16 C/D variants to strengthen their F-16 squadron in 2009.[42] However, the United States counter-offered up to 24 used F-16C/D block 25, 6 spares and associated equipment and logistical support. In the cost the upgrade to Blk 32 standard was included. The total estimated cost was $750 million.[43] The offer had since been accepted.[44] The Indonesian Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE BIMA-SENA.


Pakistan was an early customer of the F-16, seeking to counter a heavy Soviet presence in Afghanistan, in addition to countering its traditional rival, India, for which the Pakistan Air Force was ill-equipped. An initial order for 40 aircraft was delivered in two installments, and led to a further order for 71 more F-16A/B-15OCU aircraft. Due to political developments relating to Pakistan's nuclear program, these aircraft were embargoed before delivery. 28 aircraft remained in storage while other buyers were sought (and a 10 year lease to New Zealand fell through), but ultimately it was decided that the aircraft would be put into service with the US Air Force and Navy as aggressor aircraft. The remaining aircraft on order had work stopped before completion.

The Pakistani Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE GATE.

In November 2006, the Pakistan Air Force signed a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for 18 new-built F-16C/D Block 52, 28 F-16A/B Block 15 and 60 Mid-Life-Update M3 Tape modules/kits as part of a $5.1bn deal including fighter aircraft, their related infrastructure, training and ammunition. Deliveries of the F-16A/Bs are expected to begin in 2007, while the initial F-16C/Ds will likely be received sometime in late 2008 or early 2009. The current procurement program of new-built aircraft as well as refurbishment and upgrade of 60 used and serving aircraft is expected to be complete by 2010-2012, as per the Pakistan Air Force Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed. In April 2006, Janes Defence Weekly reported that the PAF may procure an additional 18 Block 52 from the current deal. In July 2007, Commander of Central Command Air Forces, Lieutenant General Gary L. North (U.S. Air Force), and another U.S. aviator flew a pair of F-16s to Pakistan for Pakistan Air Force.[45]

In December 2009 the first F-16/D block 52 rolled out for PAF. First batch arrived in Pakistan in May 2010, 17 F-16C/D were delivered to PAF by the end of December 2010.[46] One F-16D used for testing joined PAF in 2012 along with two examples upgraded to MLU in USA.[47]


The Singapore Air Force began as a small F-16 user, but has a steadily growing fleet. It has operated the aircraft since 1988, when the first of its initial order for 8 F-16A/B-15OCU arrived. Since then, it has begun ordering multiple installments of F-16C/D Block 52/52+ aircraft, totalling 74 of the advanced fighters.

The Singapore Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE CARVIN.

South Korea

Facing a desperate need for advanced aircraft to counter North Korea's numerical superiority, Republic of Korea Air Force was quick to order the F-16 to meet its needs with a 1981 order for 36 F-16C/D Block 32 aircraft (later 4 F-16Ds added by profit from exchange rate fluctuation), making it the first operator for the C/D model outside of the United States. A more ambitious program (Korean Fighter Program) to provide 120 new fighters was initially lost to the F/A-18 Hornet, but various difficulties led to the order going to the F-16C/D Block 52D (KF-16C/D), 72 of which were to be manufactured in South Korea, 36 of which were to be delivered in kit form and assembled in South Korea, and 12 of which were to be produced in Fort Worth, U.S.A.. In 2000, a further 20 Korean-built F-16s were added.[48]

The South Korean Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE BRIDGE.

In May 2009, South Korean government announced upgrade plan for its KF-16C/D fleet’s radar and armament, as part of the 2010-2014 arms acquisition and management package being submitted to President Lee Myung-bak for approval. The ROKAF operates about 135 of the “KF-16” fighters, many of which were built in Korea under a $5.5 billion licensing agreement from 1994-2004. Key upgrades will include new radars to replace the existing APG-68v5/v7 systems, avionics and computers, and improving cabling and databuses to MIL-STD-1760 so that the aircraft will be able to carry GPS-guided weapons, AIM-9X Sidewider missiles, and other new equipment.


The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a major F-16 customer, although it has placed only a single order for the aircraft. In 1992, 150 F-16A/B-20 aircraft were ordered while at the same time Taiwan ordered 60 Dassault Mirage 2000 and launched its own indigenous fighter program, the AIDC Ching-Kuo. Delivery of all F-16s was completed in 2001.

The Taiwanese Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE FENGHUANG (Peace Phoenix).

The Republic of China Air Force (ROCAF), needing a next generation fighter to replace its fleet of F-5s, has expressed interest in the new F-35 Lightning II. However, due to political issues, it is unlikely the island nation will be able to acquire such an advanced fighter in the near future. As a result, the ROCAF has opted for up to 66 new F-16C/D Block50/52 as its interim replacement fighter.[49] As with all military purchases, Beijing has expressed opposition to the sale, which is currently stalled inside the Obama administration.[50] However Obama has agreed to a $5.3 billion deal to upgrade Taiwan's current fleet of F-16 A/B Block 20s to configuration similar to that of the proposed F-16V standard with AESA radars.[51]


The Royal Thai Air Force Initially considered a candidate to purchase the F-16/79, Thailand's first order was ultimately for 12 F-16A/B-15OCU fighters, immediately bolstered by a further 6 F-16A-15OCU planes. 18 more aircraft were received in 1995, the last new-production block 15 aircraft built. An attempt to buy F/A-18 Hornets failed, and in place of them, the US offered to sell USAF F-16ADFs Excess Defense Articles. A total of 18 examples were bought. In early 2005, the Royal Thai Air Force received 3 F-16A-15OCU and 4 F-16B-15OCU from the Republic of Singapore Air Force. In 2011, 18 F-16A/B-15 OCU from 403 Sqd. will be upgraded to F-16 MLU.

The Thai Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE NARESUAN.


The Turkish Air Force is the world's third largest operator of the F-16, following the USA and Israel. Turkey became one of the nations to indigenously produce the F-16, under a license from Lockheed Martin. Turkey initially received in total 240 F-16s. However, a further 30 were ordered in 2007. All Turkish F-16s are built by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). Each new aircraft had to visit American territory under the terms of the PEACE ONYX Foreign Military Sales program before being turned over to the Turkish Air Force. In 2005, Turkey signed a $1.1 billion avionics upgrade package, based on the USAF's Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP). In addition to this, the Turkish Air Force put a firm order for 30 more F-16 Block 50+. These too will be manufactured by TAI.[52] 165 F-16 will be upgraded to F-16 Block 50+ standards by TAI.

Latin America


The Chilean Air Force selected the F-16 as the winner of a long-running competition to provide the nation's next generation of fighter aircraft in 2000. The F-16 competed successfully against the JAS 39 Gripen, the Dassault Mirage 2000, the F-18 Hornet. Currently Chile has already received all of its ten F-16C/D Block 50+ aircraft. The deal for six C and four D model aircraft was valued at $600 million in 2002 and was conducted under the program name PEACE PUMA. 18 more used F-16A/B MLU aircraft (11 F-16AM and 7 F-16BM) were bought from Netherlands in 2005, and delivered by mid-2006.[53] In late 2008, the Chilean Ministry of Defense expressed its interest in buying 18 more aircraft from the Netherlands,[54] which was later confirmed in April 2009.[55]

The Chilean F-16 Block 50 could be armed with US missile such as the AIM-120 and AIM-9 Sidewinder and Israeli made missiles Derby, Python IV and Python V.

The F-16 Air Force of Chile are part of the following units:

  • 1st Air Brigade (I Brigada Aérea) in Los Condores Air Base.
    • 3rd Aviation Group (Grupo de Aviación Nº 3).
  • 5th Air Brigade (V Brigada Aérea) in Cerro Moreno Air Base.
    • 7th Aviation Group (Grupo de Aviación Nº 7).
    • 8th Aviation Group (Grupo de Aviación Nº 8).


The first – and for a long time the only – Latin American user of the F-16, Venezuela ordered a total of 24 F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft in May 1982 under the PEACE DELTA program; the U.S. government originally offered the F-16/J79 version, but eventually authorized sale of the standard Block 15 version.[56] Deliveries of 18 ‘A’ models and 6 ‘B’ models began in September 1983 and were completed in 1985. Since entering operational service in 1984, these fighters have served with 161st and 162nd Fighter Squadron of Fighter Air Group 16 at El Libertador Airbase, Palo Negro. The Venezuelan Air Force had wanted to order a further batch of 24 aircraft, but was unable to afford the purchase.[57]

Venezuela has been seeking two attrition replacements for lost F-16s since late 1997,[58] but has not been able to obtain them due to financial problems and souring relations between the United States and the government of President Hugo Chávez. On 15 May 2006, the U.S. government announced that it would enact a ban on arms sales to Venezuela to become effective at the beginning of October of that year. This embargo was expected to soon render Venezuela’s F-16 fleet non-operational, and General Alberto Muller, a military advisor to President Chávez, responded to the embargo announcement with a threat to sell Venezuela’s remaining 21 F-16s to Iran.[59] Subsequently, the Chávez government decided to pursue replacement of its American-sourced military aircraft inventory with Russian aircraft, and in mid-June 2006 it was revealed that Venezuela had recently ordered several Sukhoi Su-30s.[60]

Venezuela’s F-16s have been modified to use the Israeli Python IV IR-guided air-to-air missile.[61] They are also capable of carrying the Rafael LITENING II targeting pod.

Operating Units Model Location
16º Grupo Aéreo de Caza "Dragones" El Libertador Airbase, Palo Negro
Escuadrón de Caza 161 "Caribes" F-16A/B Block 15 El Libertador Airbase, Palo Negro
Escuadrón de Caza 162 "Gavilanes" F-16A/B Block 15 El Libertador Airbase, Palo Negro

Future and potential operators


Lockheed Martin has tried to promote the sale of the F-16C and C-130J to the Royal Brunei Air Force.[62]


On 8 April 2013, Commander of the Colombian Air Force Tito Saul Pinilla Pinilla toured McEntire Joint National Guard Base as part of the State Partnership Program (SPP) between South Carolina and Colombia. During his visit, he revealed that Colombia was planning to buy F-16s and was interested about maintenance and logistics support for the aircraft.[63] In July 2013, the Colombian Ministry of Defense expressed interest in acquiring new-built F-16C/D multirole fighters. Colombia would be interested in a batch of 10 F-16Cs and two F-16Ds, with the possibility of ordering a second batch. Colombia hopes to begin orders by 2015.[64][65] On 30 July 2013, five Colombian Air Force officers toured McEntire Joint National Guard Base as part of the SPP. The visit was to gather information about F-16 operations and maintenance. After receiving a unit briefing, the officers went on a tour of the wing’s operations and maintenance groups and had an F-16 avionics demonstration on the flightline.[66]


Croatia plans to replace its Mikoyan MiG-21 fleet. Croatia is to purchase 12 or more modern multi-role fighters by 2011. The most-likely candidates are JAS 39 Gripen or F-16C/D.[67]


Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has indicated an interest in second hand F-16s from the United States.[68] On December 2011, the DND and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was tasked to formally request at least a squadron of 12 ex-USAF F-16C/D fighter jets, most probably Block 25 or 30 which would be refurbished to either Block 50 or 52 standards.[69] This would be discussed during the US-Philippines "2+2" Meeting on 30 April 2012. The Philippine government will be paying for reconditioning, maintenance and pilot training which will run for two years.[70]


On 24 March 2010, Romania's Supreme Defense Council approved the purchase of 24 refurbished F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft from the U.S. Air Force inventory. First batch of aircraft was scheduled to arrive in 2013. Total cost for the aircraft were estimated at US$1.4 billion.[71] Romania failed to pay the first installment on the aircraft, even though it was delayed from June 3 to August 3.[72]

On September 27, 2012, Romania’s Supreme Defense Council approved a plan to buy 12 used F-16s from Portugal in deal worth 670 million euro. Aircraft will be delivered over the next five years and will enter operational service in 2016 after pilot training.[73] Romania was to complete negotiations and finalization of documents with Portugal by the end of May, and with the U.S. by September. 120 million euros will pay for the aircraft, with the rest paying for logistic support. Even though the Portuguese F-16s are 30 years old, they can still be flyable for another 20 years.[74] The 12 F-16s will replace 48 MiG-21s in Romanian service.[75] Legislation regarding the F-16 deal was passed by the country's Chamber of Deputies in June 2013 and on 12 July 2013, Romanian President Traian Băsescu formally approved the purchase.[76] On 11 October 2013, Romania completed the purchase of 12 Lockheed Martin F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons from Portugal. The package is worth $252.6 million/186.2 million euros, and includes nine former Portuguese Air Force aircraft and three former U.S. Air Force aircraft supplied to Portugal for the resale under the U.S. Excess Defense Article program. Nine aircraft are single-seat and three are twin-seat. Portugal will receive 78 million euros for the sale, and the rest will be spent acquiring and upgrading the U.S. surplus aircraft and associated equipment. The first F-16 is scheduled to be delivered in 2016 with initial operational capability achieved in 2017.[77]

Cancelled orders and failed bids


The US Defense Cooperation Agency offered 36 F-16A (MLU) (+6 spares) in June 1999 to Argentina. The bid was abandoned by the upcoming Argentine Government.


The F-16A and F-16C were among the designs considered by the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) to replace its Dassault Mirage III fighters in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After the initial evaluation processes were concluded, the RAAF was left with a choice between the F-16C and F/A-18 Hornet, both of which met its technical requirements. While the F-16C was cheaper than the F/A-18A, the RAAF decided that the Hornet was more technologically mature, easier to maintain during operational deployments, and likely to have a much lower attrition rate. Accordingly, the Australian Government chose to order 75 F/A-18s in October 1981.[78]


Brazil was evaluating the F-16BR with the intent to manufacture in a joint-venture with Lockheed Martin. The Dassault Rafale, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, and the Saab Gripen NG made the short list.


For the ongoing Indian MRCA competition for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Lockheed Martin was offering the customized F-16IN Super Viper.[79] The F-16IN is based closely on the F-16E/F Block 60 and features conformal fuel tanks; AN/APG-80 AESA radar, GE F110-132A engine with FADEC controls; electronic warfare suite and infra-red searching (IRST); updated all-color glass cockpit; and a helmet-mounted cueing system.[80]

Lockheed Martin and the United States government intensively lobbied for India's US$10 billion contract for 126 fighter jets.[81][82] Ashton Carter, chief of The Pentagon's acquisition department, even raised the possibility of United States offering F-35 Lightning II to India as a follow-on to the F-16IN.[83][84]

The IAF extensively evaluated the F-16 which included field trials in hot weather conditions and in high-altitude mountain ranges.[85] In April 2011, the IAF rejected F-16IN's bid in favor of either the Eurofighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafale.[86]

In January 2012, Dassault Rafale finally emerged as the winner of this US$10.5 billion deal for 126 fighter jets.


Iran placed an order for 160 aircraft for Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF) with option for further 140, but due to the Iranian Revolution, the order was cancelled.[87] 55 of these aircraft were later delivered to the Israel Air Force.[88]

New Zealand

In December 1998, the Royal New Zealand Air Force had planned to acquire 28 F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft following their embargoed sale to Pakistan[89] under a 10 year lease-buy arrangement as an interim replacement for its fleet of ageing A-4 Skyhawks.[90][91] The agreed price was US$105 million.[90] The acquisition was cancelled by the new Labour government in March 2000 citing a benign security environment in which "an air combat force is not a priority".[91][92]

Summaries of F-16 deliveries

Foreign sales programs by codename

While USAF and EPAF customers account for the majority of F-16 sales, the F-16 has also been sold to many other customers under an agreement known as a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

Since the DoD assigns two-word codenames to programs such as these, FMS programs are assigned two-word codenames beginning with the word PEACE, indicating oversight by USAF Headquarters. The second word in these FMS sales is often chosen to reflect some facet of the customer, such as MARBLE for Israel or ONYX for Turkey. DoD codenames appear in all capital letters.

The codename is assigned beginning with the first FMS sale, and Roman numerals are appended to distinguish follow-on buys, the original FMS buy denoted with the Roman numeral 'I'.

Note that the sale of the F-16E and F-16F Block 60 models to the UAE was not assigned a codename, because it was not sold under an FMS agreement.

Program Codename Customer Deliveries Aircraft Acquired Notes
Peace A'sama A'safiya Oman 2005–2006 (12) 8 F-16C-50 (Adv.), 4 F-16D-50 (Adv.) “A'sama A'safiya” means “Clear Skies”.
Peace Atlantis I Portugal 1994 (20) 17 F-16A-15OCU, 3 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Atlantis II Portugal 1999 (25) 21 F-16A-15, 4 F-16B-15 USAF EDAs, 5 F-16As broken down for spares; received MLU upgrade
Peace Bima-Sena Indonesia 1989–1990 (12) 8 F-16A-15OCU, 4 F-16B-15OCU Additional order for 9 aircraft was cancelled.
Peace Bridge I South Korea 1986–1992 (40) 30 F-16C-32, 10 F-16D-32
Peace Bridge II South Korea 1994–2000 (120) 80 F-16C-52, 40 F-16D-52 Licensed production, Korea Fighter Program (KFP).
Peace Bridge III South Korea 2003–2004 (20) 14 F-16C-52, 6 F-16D-52 Licensed production, Korea Fighter Program (KFP).
Peace Carvin I Singapore 1988 (8) 4 F-16A-15OCU, 4 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Carvin II Singapore 1998 (18) 8 F-16C-52, 10 F-16D-52
Peace Carvin III Singapore 2000–2002 (12) 10 F-16C-52, 2 F-16D-52
Peace Carvin IV Singapore 2003–2004 (20) 20 F-16D-52
Peace Caesar Italy 2003–2004 (34) 26 F-16A-15ADF, 4 F-16B-15ADF, 4 F-16A/B-5/10 10-year lease program of surplus USAF aircraft.
Peace Crown I Bahrain 1990 (12) 8 F-16C-40, 4 F-16D-40
Peace Crown II Bahrain 2000 (10) 10 F-16C-40
Peace Delta Venezuela 1982–1984 (24) 18 F-16A-15, 6 F-16B-15
Peace Falcon I Jordan 1997–1998 (16) 12 F-16A-15ADF, 4 F-16B-15ADF USAF EDAs
Peace Falcon II Jordan 2003 (17) 12 [7+9?] F-16A-15ADF, 5 [1?] F-16B-15ADF USAF EDAs
Peace Fenghuang Taiwan 1997–2001 (150) 120 F-16A-20, 30 F-16B-20
Peace Gate I Pakistan 1983 (6) 2 F-16A-15, 4 F-16B-15
Peace Gate II Pakistan 1983–1987 (34) 26 F-16A-15, 8 F-16B-15
Peace Gate III Pakistan Embargoed (11) 6 F-16A-15OCU, 5 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Gate IV Pakistan Embargoed (60) 48 F-16A-15OCU, 12 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Gate V Pakistan 1983–1987 (34) 26 F-16A-15, 8 F-16B-15
Peace Drive I Pakistan 2006–2010 (18) 12 F-16C-52, 6 F-16D-52
Peace Marble I Israel 1980–1981 (75) 18 F-16A-5, 8 F-16B-5, 40 F-16A-10, 9 F-16A-15
Peace Marble II Israel 1986–1988 (75) 51 F-16C-30, 24 F-16D-30
Peace Marble III Israel 1991–1993 (60) 30 F-16C-30, 30 F-16D-30
Peace Marble IV Israel 1994 (50) 3 F-16A-1, 2 F-16B-1, 1 F-16A-5, 7 F-16B-5, 32 F-16A-10, 5 F-16B-10
Peace Marble V Israel 2004–2009 (102) 102 F-16D-52
Peace Naresuan I Thailand 1988 (12) 8 F-16A-15OCU, 4 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Naresuan II Thailand 1990–1991 (6) 6 F-16A-15OCU
Peace Naresuan III Thailand 1995–1996 (18) 12 F-16A-15OCU, 6 F-16B-15OCU
Peace Naresuan IV Thailand 2002–2003 (18) 15 F-16A-15ADF, 1 F-16B-15ADF, 2 F-16A-10OCU
Peace Onyx I Turkey 1987–1995 (160) 34 F-16C-30, 9 F-16D-30, 102 F-16C-40, 15 F-16D-40
Peace Onyx II Turkey 1996–1997 (40) 34 F-16C-50, 6 F-16D-50
Peace Onyx III Turkey 1998–1999 (40) 26 F-16C-50, 14 F-16D-50
Peace Onyx IV Turkey 2010–2011 (30) 16 F-16C-50+, 14 F-16D-50+
Peace Sky Poland 2006–2009 (48) 36 F-16C-52, 12 F-16D-52
Peace Vector I Egypt 1982–1985 (42) 34 F-16A-15, 8 F-16B-15
Peace Vector II Egypt 1986–1988 (40) 34 F-16C-32, 6 F-16D-32
Peace Vector III Egypt 1991–1995 (47) 35 F-16C-40, 12 F-16D-40
Peace Vector IV Egypt 1994–1995 (46) 34 F-16C-40, 12 F-16D-40
Peace Vector V Egypt 1999–2000 (21) 21 F-16C-40
Peace Vector VI Egypt 2001–2002 (24) 12 F-16C-40, 12 F-16D-40
Peace Xenia I Greece 1989–1990 (40) 34 F-16C-30, 6 F-16D-30
Peace Xenia II Greece 1997–1998 (40) 32 F-16C-50, 8 F-16D-50
Peace Xenia III Greece 2002–2004 (60) 40 F-16C-52, 20 F-16D-52
Peace Xenia IV Greece 2009–2010 (30) 20 F-16C-52, 10 F-16D-52


External links

  • F-16 air forces, operators, and potential customers
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