Ex– RNLAF F-16s for Jordan
With tensions escalating in the Korean peninsula, USAF F-16Cs from the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing’s 176th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron (EFS) have been deployed to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The 115th Fighter Wing had deployed to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to help maintain a deterrent to threats to regional security and stability as part of the Theatre Security Package (TSP) programme, which has been a routine and integral part of US Pacific Command’s force posture.
Meanwhile, fighter squadrons from the US Navy’s Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) have relocated from Naval Air Facility Atsugi to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni at the end of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group (CSG-5) patrol. Units relocating to Iwakuni include Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 115 ‘Eagles’ and VFA-195 ‘Dambusters’ flying the F/A-18E, and Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 141 ‘Shadowhawks’ that flies the EA-18G. Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125 ‘Tiger Tails’, which flies the E-2D, became the first of the air wing’s squadrons to transition to Iwakuni when it arrived on 2 February 2017. Under the Defence Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) process, CVW-5’s fixed-wing aircraft will transfer to Iwakuni, while its rotary-wing squadrons will remain at Atsugi. to be incorporated. Series production of the improved Tu160M2 for the VKS will begin in 2023, with three Tu-160M2s produced annually by the Gorbunov Aircraft Plant in Kazan under a contract signed by UAC and the Russian Defence Ministry. In October 2016, deputy defence minister Yuri Borisov had announced that the VKS had a total requirement for 50 Tu-160M2s.
Another batch of six former Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) F-16s have been delivered to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF), which also comprised a single F-16BM. The first six of 15 F-16s were delivered to the RJAF in late October.