Saturday, August 8, 2009

the Shah's F-16's

Artists rendition of an IIAF F-16

Many are familiar with the Shah's militarization of Iran to counter the threat of invasion from the Soviet Union and the fact that in that time bought 80 F-14 Tomcats (79 of which were delivered), America's prime naval fighter at the time and one of the most advanced fighter jets in the world.

But few realize that the Shah had also in 1976 (at the same time of ordering only 30 Tomcats) ordered and paid for 160 F-16 Fighting Falcons, he followed up this order with another 140 bringing the grand total of aircraft for Iran to receive to 300!

Ground equipment and personnel begun to arrive by 1978, however at the start of the revolution the first two F-16's to arrive in Iran were canceled (as was the last of the order of the F-14's), however General Dynamics (the maker of the F-16) never gave Iran compensation or even it's money back obviously not recognizing the new regime there.

These F-16's were instead delivered to Israel (which remains the second largest operator of that aircraft today) and a handful to Pakistan following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Iran has lobbied for its refunds often citing the purchased F-16's as weapons the Shah had purchased but not received.


Anonymous said...

The F16 was meant to be manufactured under license in Iran by the very early 1980s.This agreement was made between the Imperial government and General Dynamics after the purchase of nearly 300 units with transfer of technology.
Also little known fact that the Imperial government of Iran was very interested in the purchase and under license production of the F18 Hornet or the YF17 program as it was known at the time.This project was followed avidly from the start by the Shah and interest was shown for the purchase of 200 plus units of the F18 as well as license production and transfer of technology.

The Realist.

Anonymous said...

The last line would be better written as "Iran has lobbied for a refund, often citing the purchased F-16s as weapons the Shah had purchased, but not received."

There is no need for an apostrophe in F-16s.