General Dynamics F-16

F-16 with TARS pod

The General Dynamics F-16 Falcon is operated by numerous countries, but only a limited number operate the aircraft in the tactical reconnaissance role.

Royal Netherlands Air Force

The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF) or Koninklijke Luchtmacht (Klu) took delivery of 177 F-16As and 36 F-16Bs between Jun 1979 and Feb 1992 making the Klu the fourth largest operator worldwide most aircraft were manufactured by Dutch industry and assembled by Fokker at Schipol. Six squadrons were originally equipped with the F-16, but only 306 Sqn had a reconnaissance role.

A total of 22 F-16s were adapted to carry the Orpheus reconnaissance pod prior to their delivery in 1983/4 and are offically designated F-16A(R) in 1995 an additional 3 aircraft were re-configured to F-16A(R) to make up for attrition losses. However, the Orpheus system was fairly antiquated, having been originally purchased in 1974 to equip the F-104G, and as an interim measure the Klu purchased four Per Udsen MARS (Medium Altitude Reconnaissance System) pods at the beginning of 1997. The pods are equipped with ex-USAF KS-87B wet film cameras and need replacing. The Klu have a requirement for 24 new reconnaissance pods. After a Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) between 1997 and 2001 all the remaining 138 F-16s in service with the Klu are able to carry a reconnaissance pod, marking the end of the F-16A(R) designation.

Royal Air Force of Oman

The Royal Air Force of Oman is known to operate 12 F-16C/D aircraft equipped with a number of pod mounted BAe Systems F-9120 Advanced Airborne Reconnaissance System.

Polish Air Force

The Polish Air Force have 48 F-16C/D aircraft on order and these aircraft will be utilise seven Goodrich DB-110 electro-optical pods, together with two ground exploitation stations, one of which will be mobile.