Third American F-16 Fighter Crashes in South Korea in Underneath 9 Months

The U.S. Air Pressure on January 31 confirmed that an F-16 Preventing Falcon fourth era fighter plane below the eighth Fighter Wing had fallen into the ocean close to the western South Korean metropolis of Gunsan, after native media had reported such a crash earlier within the day. The web site of Kunsan Air Base, which hosts the majority of the American fighter fleet in Korea together with two F-16 squadrons, reported concerning the incident: “An F-16 Preventing Falcon assigned to the eighth Fighter Wing right here skilled an in-flight emergency … The pilot ejected safely … He’s acutely aware and was transported to a medical facility for evaluation.” The crash is notably the newest of a number of incidents affecting U.S. Air Pressure F-16s in Korea, with one of many plane additionally from the eighth Fighter Wing having crashed 51 days prior on December 11 close to Gunsan. Beforehand on Could 6 one other U.S. F-16 crashed in an agricultural area close to Osan Air Base. 

The spate of F-16 crashes notably comes because the Republic of Korea Air Pressure, which deploys a number of instances as many F-16s because the U.S. Air Pressure within the nation at 161 plane, has not suffered a single latest crash. Since 2020 excessive crash charges within the U.S. Army, and the Air Pressure specifically, have raised rising questions concerning upkeep procedures. The newest crash notably got here 11 days after the F-16 marked 50 years since its first flight on January 20, 1974, with the fighter class beforehand anticipated to have been largely retired by the mid-2020s. Delays to growth of the F-35 fifth era fighter, manufacturing on a small fraction of the beforehand deliberate scale, and severe overruns in upkeep wants and operational prices, have meant that F-35s can not be acquired within the numbers wanted to switch F-16s, forcing the older plane to serve for a few years longer than supposed. 

The U.S. Air Pressure is at present contemplating choices to develop a light-weight fighter based mostly on the T-7 Coach, which though much less succesful than the F-16 will present a less expensive choice to fill out fight items and permit for the retirement of ageing Chilly Warfare period plane. South Korea has positioned orders for 85 F-35s, however will depend on the indigenous FA-50 and KF-21 fighters to switch most of its legacy Chilly Warfare period plane. The F-16 and F-35 are each thought-about mild fighters for his or her respective generations, and have been developed with single engine configurations to cut back upkeep wants and operational prices. A scarcity of a second engine as seen on most American fighters, nevertheless, will increase their danger of accidents relative to twin engine fighter courses such because the F-15 and F-18. It stays unsure whether or not any of the three F-16 crashes in Korea over the previous yr have been associated to engine points, whereas for the F-35 software program points have precipitated a considerably larger hazard to pilots than the engines.

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