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Is Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 Better Than Pakistan's F-16 Fighting Falcon Fighter Jet?

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Lockheed Martin F16 Fighting Falcon

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We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. It entered operational service the following year. In , General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing wing to Lockheed.

The F is now produced by Lockheed Martin, a company formed in a merger two years after the sale. Fs are used in 25 countries, making it one of the most numerous fixed-wing combat aircraft in the world. The F is a smaller single-engined jet fighter than those that preceded it. Designed as a cost-effective alternative to other fighters in use by the USAF, it is relatively cheap and easy to maintain — though only by the standards of fighter jets. With an airframe built mostly out of aluminum alloys, it is light and maneuverable.

These let it reach higher attack angles thanks to the effect of vortex lift, in which the wing shape creates and traps vortices of air. These generate lift, allowing angles of attack that would stall other aircraft. The cockpit is covered by a frameless bubble canopy, which provides excellent visibility for the pilot.

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This means that stability is sacrificed in favor of maneuverability, with electronic systems compensating for the loss. Control is made easier by a side-mounted control stick.

Augmented pitch control is used to avoid stalling during high angled attacks. The F has one internally mounted weapon, an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon.

General Dynamics F Fighting Falcon | HowStuffWorks

Its six air-cooled barrels let this weapon fire around 6, of its 20mm rounds per minute. Other weapons can be fitted on 11 mounts, allowing the plane to carry missiles and mission equipment.

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Fs usually carry air-to-air missiles. The plane can also carry bombs, air-to-ground missiles, and other support equipment such as extra fuel tanks.

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During Operation Desert Storm in , Fs flew thousands of combat missions against Iraqi targets, dropping millions of pounds of bombs. In the aftermath of the war, they were used to patrol the no-fly zones over the north and south of the country.