F-16 Fighting Falcons Flaunt Deadly Weapons Like a Pro, Wings Don’t Even Bend

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We’ve seen the mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon in incredible instances over the past year, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) habit of releasing beautiful images of its arsenal. Seen as a weapon, the airplane is actually more of a weapons’ platform, capable of carrying a deadly loadout to fire at enemies.

The image we have here, titled Fully Loaded by the USAF, is one of the few showing a close-up of the thing laden with weaponry, and was taken all the way back in September, but only recently released for the public. It shows not one, but several F-16s lined up on the runway of the Misawa Air Base in Japan, where they took part in an Agile Combat Employment (ACE) exercise.

It’s the one closest to the camera that’s of interest to us, as it shows weapons attached to the thing’s wing hardpoints. We get two air-to-air missiles firmly fixed one on the tip of the wing, and the other closer to the body, and further down the massive drop tank meant to hold extra fuel for prolonged missions.

We are not being told if any of the weapons on board were fired during the exercise. As is, ACE aims to get American forces ready to respond rapidly and swiftly to threats, by rapidly deploying aircraft, and making full use of bases in the area, no matter their type, aircraft refueling, and other such elements.

And the F-16, as one of the most widespread military aircraft, seems perfect for the job, not only on account of the amount of weapons it can carry. It is also fast enough – 1,535 mph (2,470 kph) – to come in, strike and get away before the enemy has a chance to shoot back.

Because there are so many of them out there (close to 5,000 to date), we’ll probably get to see the F-16 a lot more in the years to come – and we’re not one bit sorry, given how we seriously enjoy seeing it.