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US F-35 Fighter Jets Face off Against Older F-16 Aircraft in Mock Dog Fights

Sputnik News

19:33 29.11.2016(updated 19:35 29.11.2016)

The fifth generation US F-35 joint strike fighter and older fourth generation F-16 aircraft have begun integrated for training missions that likely include mock dog-fights, the US Air Force announced in a press release on Tuesday.

WASHINTGON (Sputnik) – Although the F-35 will eventually replace the F-16 and other fourth generation US fighter jets, the two will be flying joint combat missions for the foreseeable future.

"The integrated training accomplishes two major training goals, first in exposing F-35 pilots to air-to-air combat scenarios against fourth-generation aircraft capable of mimicking adversaries that pilots would realistically face on today's battlefields," the release explained.

The second purpose of the integrated training is to prepare pilots for future combat missions in which the two aircraft will fly together, according to the release.

The exercises, which begun at Luke Air Force Base in the US state of Arizona in October, are continuing on a daily basis, the release noted.

Military analysts claim that the fourth generation F-16's lighter weight and greater maneuverability gives the F-16 an edge in classic close quarter dog fights.

However, the stealthier F-35 is designed to locate and destroy an enemy fighter jet long before the two aircraft meet.


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