(Image: BAF via F-16.net; scrapped F-16s in Belgium)
As 2016 draws to a close, the phenomenally successful General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (now manufactured by Lockheed Martin) continues to roll off the production line. But more than a decade ago, early model F-16s were already being broken up for scrap. In late 2005, the Belgian Air Component reduced the number of operational Vipers from 105 airframes to 72. Many of the withdrawn jets were quickly recycled, as these photographs reveal.
The Belgian Air Component originally purchased 160 F-16A and B models (the single seat fighter and twin-seat trainer variants respectively). The warplanes were built under license in Belgium and the Netherlands. But over time, as technology improved and airframes were constantly updated, certain Belgian F-16s that weren’t slated for upgrade were withdrawn from use. The result was the mortal pile of remains pictured here, comprising the mangled, twisted forms of up to defunct 33 Vipers.
(Image: BAF via F-16.net)