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F-16 End Life of Type (ELOT) program
Latest update: December 2021
On June 29, 2021 the state secretary for defence Drs. B. Visser informed the Dutch parliament of the sale of 12 Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16's and related equipment to private company Draken International, Fort Worth, Texas. The agreed price remains commercially confidential.
Draken International is one of several companies offering contracted aur support to air arms around the world. The company has bought several former military aircraft to support its missions flying as adversary against US squadrons. Draken is the second company to purchase the F-16 after competitor Top Aces bought Fighting Falcons from the Israeli Air Force.

Their fleet will be expanded with the Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16's which are expected to be withdrawn from service during 2022. The contract contains an option for a further 28 F-16's. These Fighting Falcons are expected to be phased out in batches through the end of 2024. The phasing out plan for the F-16 aircraft is leading in the transfer of all aircraft, even if the outfitting plan is delayed and the end date of the F-16 is pushed back.

As of July 1, 2021 the RNLAF had 48 F-16's assigned to two squadrons. In the Netherlands 312 squadron based at Volkel will continue to fly the aircraft until 2024 when the last will be withdrawn from service. In the United States at Tucson IAP, Arizona the Netherlands Detachment Tucson Arizona (NDTA) is embedded within the 162nd FW, AZ ANG. NDTA has ten F-16's assigned equally dived between five single seat F-16AM and five dual seat F-16BM. 322 squadron based at Leeuwarden flew their last F-16 mission on July 1. It was planned to fly the F-16's to Volkel with four performing the annual missing man formation over former Soesterberg air base to celebrate the birthday of the RNLAF. Because of an accident with a Belgian Air Component F-16AM at Leeuwarden the flight was cancelled.

The contact between the Dutch MoD and Draken International was signed on December 1, 2021. Deliveries of the 12 F-16's will commence in 2022.

Under the ELOT contract one F-16AM has been sold to the Belgian Air Component.

Tags: Netherlands, Lockheed Martin, F-16, Draken International
ELOT contract sold F-16's
Number F-16 type RNLAF serial Del. RNLAF WFU RNLAF Sold to New registration Comment
1 F-16AM J-624 06-12-82 16-04-20 Belgian AF LB-061 Instructional Airframe at Kleine Brogel AB
2 F-16BM J-882 27-07-84 12-10-21 Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
3         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
4         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
5         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
6         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
7         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
8         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
9         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
10         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
11         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
12         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
13         Draken Int.   Contract signed 01.12.21
14         Draken Int.   Option
15         Draken Int.   Option
16         Draken Int.   Option
17         Draken Int.   Option
18         Draken Int.   Option
19         Draken Int.   Option
20         Draken Int.   Option
21         Draken Int.   Option
22         Draken Int.   Option
23         Draken Int.   Option
24         Draken Int.   Option
25         Draken Int.   Option
26         Draken Int.   Option
27         Draken Int.   Option
28         Draken Int.   Option
29         Draken Int.   Option
30         Draken Int.   Option
31         Draken Int.   Option
32         Draken Int.   Option
33         Draken Int.   Option
34         Draken Int.   Option
35         Draken Int.   Option
36         Draken Int.   Option
37         Draken Int.   Option
38         Draken Int.   Option
39         Draken Int.   Option
40         Draken Int.   Option
41         Draken Int.   Option

The table above will be updated when information related to the transfer of an actual airframe becomes available.

The F-16's assigned to the Netherlands Detachment Tucson Arizona (NDTA), 148th FS "Kickin' Ass", 162nd FW Tucson IAP, AZ will not return to The Netherlands. These are:

F-16AM: J-004, J-010, J-018, J-019, J-366.
F-16BM: J-064, J-067, J-209, J-210, J-369.

Volkel based F-16BM J-882, which has been withdrawn from service on 21 October 2021, is reported to be one of the F-16's to be transferred to Draken International under the above mentioned contract.
RNLAF current and past F-16 squadrons (units)
Squadron Current base Previous base Disbanded Current aircraft Comment
306 squadron Leeuwarden Volkel   None Awaiting delivery MQ-9
311 squadron   Volkel 27-09-12    
312 squadron Volkel Volkel   F-16AM/BM Expected to transition to the F-35A in 2024
313 squadron Volkel Twente   None Transitioning to F-35A.
314 squadron   Gilze-Rijen 01-06-95    
315 squadron   Twente 16-04-04    
316 squadron   Eindhoven 01-04-94    
322 squadron Leeuwarden Leeuwarden   F-35A First aircraft arrived 31.10.2019 IOC end 2021/
323 squadron Edwards AFB, CA Leeuwarden   None Awaiting decision about its future
KTV Volkel Leeuwarden   F-16BM One F-16BM nicknamed "Orange Jumper".
NDTA / 148 FS Tucson IAP, AZ     F-16AM/BM Last F-16 pilots will graduate in 2022
TCA   Leeuwarden   None  
TCA: "Transitie en Conversie Afdeling.  
NDTA: Netherlands Detachment Tucson Arizona.  
KTV: Kantoor Test Vliegen (Flight Test Office)  
Photo gallery
1: F-16AM J-624 NM Leeuwarden, 17.04.18 2: F-16BM J-882 NDTA markings Volkel, 14.02.18