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Lockheed Martin F-16D Block 52+ - RNZAF

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With China about to extend its military power into the pacific region, with its soon to be operational aircraft carrier, the New Zealand government decided it was time to re-activate its air combat wing in order to provide some degree of security and deterrence. Before a Fighter Competition could be announced the US State Department, keen to keep China in check in the region, offered to subsidize a New Zealand order of the latest Block (52+) F-16C/D Fighting Falcons. The deal was to good to be passed up so a package of 25 F-16D Block 52+ aircraft plus weapons and spares were ordered. The two seat D model was chosen as it is hoped a duel crew will help overcome some the lack of experience the newly trained/ converted crews would have in the air combat role.


Since New Zealand has been without an air combat wing or aircraft since 2001 a large training and skills gap exists in the RNZAF. To help solve this problem fast jet training of new aircrew and operational conversion of existing RNZAF pilots will be done in the United States by the USAF.


To do this the USAF 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB has been re-activated and will be responsible for training RNZAF air and ground crews. The Squadron will operate some of the newly built RNZAF F-16D Block 52+ aircraft, which will retain RNZAF markings, as well as some USAF owned aircraft which will carry US markings. Aircraft assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron of both nationalities will carry 61st Fighter Squadron markings. (Which is how it works with Singaporean vipers in the 425th FS)



No.75 Squadron RNZAF Base Ohakea, New Zealand.






61st Fighter Squadron (Air Education and Training Command) Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, United States of America.





Edited by dtmdragon
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Great work and nice write up. Hope NZ gets something like this IRL.

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This would be great. Was a nice discussion lately here on CA about how and when the RNZAF would get back its fighter component and this would be a fine option, but a rather what-if one....... Good news anyway that the Kiwi Skyhawks will be flying again (albeit at the other side of the Pacific...)

Edited by Derk
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