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Norwegian F-16 fighters fly their last mission

7th January 2022 - 16:50 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Norway bids farewell to the last of its F-16 fleet, pictured above. (Photo: Norwegian MoD)

Norway has retired its fleet of F-16 fighter jets, which have been in service since 1980, as its new F-35s join the country's air force.

The Royal Norwegian Air Force has announced its F-16 fighter jets flew their last mission on 6 January before new F-35s take over as the nation’s main fighter platform.

The Bodø Air Base will also be retired as Quick Reaction Alert missions will be performed from Evenes Air Station, which is based at a more northern location.

The Norwegian MoD tasked the nation’s Defence Materiel Agency to lead the retirement of the F-16 in September 2019 as the nation received its first few F-35s.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, Oslo took delivery of the first F-35A in 2017 and put 22 aircraft into service as of March 2020. 

By 2025, all 52 of the ordered F-35s will be in service.

Many of the F-16s will not be retired from service but instead sold as second-hand aircraft.

On 20 December 2021, the Romanian parliament approved the acquisition of 32 Norwegian F-16 jets. The Norwegian MoD estimated that Romania has a budget of €454 million ($515 million) for this purpose.

In the same month, a contract was signed with Draken International to sell up to 12 F-16s for training in the US.

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