The Pronk Pops Show 1307, August 15, 2019, Story 1: The Suicide or Homicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Looking Like Homicide With Broken Neck Bones Pending Final Report — UPDATED — Medical Examiner Finds Epstein Died By Suicide — Dead Child Molesters Tell No Tales — Videos — Story 2: Communist China Threatens United States Over The Proposed Sale of 66 Fighting Falcon F-16V Fighters to Republic of China (Taiwan) — Videos — Story 3: North Korea Fires Two More Missiles and Advances Missile Technology with Tests — Videos 

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Story 1: The Suicide or Homicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Looking Like Homicide With Broken Neck Bones Pending Final Report — UPDATED — Medical Examiner Finds Epstein Died By Suicide — Dead Child Molesters Tell No Tales — Videos

See the source image

Report: Epstein signed will just two days before death

Autopsy results of Jeffrey Epstein revealed

Do Broken Bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s Neck Suggest Foul Play?

Medical examiner rules Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide

Broken neck bones raising questions surrounding Epstein’s death

Recordings Give Rare Glimpse Of Jeffrey Epstein In His Own Words | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy Reveals Multiple Breaks in Neck Bones

Two staffers assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein placed on leave

Report: Epstein’s autopsy raises questions about his death

After autopsy, cause of Epstein’s death awaits ‘further information’

Jeffrey Epstein’s death and role in “Ponzi scheme” investigated

Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Complete

Julie Brown: I Think Epstein Manipulated His Way Out Of Suicide Watch | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

FBI and Justice Department investigate Jeffrey Epstein’s death l ABC News

1992 Tape Of Trump And Epstein – The Day That Was | MSNBC

What Allegedly Went on Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s Jet

New York Magazine Studies Elite NYC Circle That Surrounded Epstein | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

The Mystery of Jeffery Epstein’s Fortune, Acosta Plea Deal

Where did Jeffrey Epstein’s money come from?

Drone Spies On Epstein Island DURING FBI Raid

Victoria’s Secret Has More Than Epstein Issues

L Brands founder’s ties to Epstein detailed in lawsuit

L Brands CEO: Epstein misappropriated family money

Police Find Epstein Passport With Different Name And Saudi Arabia Residence | Hallie Jackson | MSNBC

How Trump is fuelling the Epstein-Clinton con

James Patterson on his investigation into Jeffrey Epstein

Alex Jones On Jeffrey Epstein And Hillary Clinton

Bill Clinton Connection To Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Exposed

Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta defends Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns amid fallout over Jeffrey Epstein case

Jeffrey Epstein’s Multiple Prosecutions & The Fall of Alex Acosta (Real Law Review) // LegalEagle

NYT Details Epstein’s Deep Ties To Wall Street | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Blood vessels in Jeffrey Epstein’s eyes had popped and he had broken bones in his neck linked to hanging OR strangulation, autopsy reveals – as pedophile’s mystery ‘associate’ claims the body

  • Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy report reveals that the pedophile had broken bones in his neck, consistent with a hanging
  • Sources tell The Washington Post that he had a broken hyoid bone – a break seen in those who hang themselves but more common in strangulation victims
  • The blood vessels in the billionaire pedophile’s eyes had also popped when his air supply was cut off 
  • The autopsy was completed Sunday, but the New York City’s chief medical examiner listed the 66-year-old’s cause of death as pending and not a suicide 
  • A source says Epstein was in ‘great spirits’ before his death in jail Saturday
  • He met daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail 
  • Epstein told his lawyer Friday, ‘I’ll see you Sunday’, but was found dead Saturday
  • He was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell after allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione inflicted the neck injuries on him
  • It was reported Epstein may have tried to take his own life in July and Tartaglione’s lawyer claimed his client tried to save him by alerting guards

Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck and the blood vessels in his eyes had popped when he was found dead in his New York jail cell from an apparent suicide.

Epstein’s autopsy report found his neck had been broken in several places, including the hyoid bone located near the Adam’s apple, the Washington Post reports.

Breakages to that specific bone can occur when people hang themselves but are more commonly seen in victims who have been strangled, forensic experts say.

The blood vessels in the billionaire pedophile’s eyes also popped when his air supply was cut off, sources told TMZ.

Epstein is believed to have suffered petechial hemorrhaging, which is caused when someone hangs themselves or is strangled.

The grim details surrounding Epstein’s death have emerged after his autopsy was completed on Sunday. The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner Barbara Simpson has listed the 66-year-old’s cause of death as pending and not a suicide.

One of the billionaire pedophile’s ‘associates’ has also claimed the body from the New York City medical examiner’s office.

There is widespread speculation his real-estate magnate brother Mark Epstein who is a year-and-half younger than Jeffrey could be this ‘associate’. He previously offered up his Florida condo as security for Epstein’s bail bond last month, according to reports.

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy report reveals that the pedophile had broken bones in his neck, consistent with a hanging

Epstein's hyoid bone - near a man's Adam's apple - was broken, a common break seen in those who hang themselves but even more common in victims of strangulation, according to forensic experts (Epstein's lifeless body is pictured being carried out on a stretcher)

Epstein’s hyoid bone – near a man’s Adam’s apple – was broken, a common break seen in those who hang themselves but even more common in victims of strangulation, according to forensic experts (Epstein’s lifeless body is pictured being carried out on a stretcher)

Multiple breaks to Epstein’s neck are the first details to emerge from Epstein’s autopsy as questions deepen around his apparent suicide by hanging while in federal custody Saturday.

The details come as it’s also revealed Epstein was in ‘great spirits’ before his death and even believed he would be bailed out in order to cooperate with authorities, according to a source.

The pedophile met daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center at 8am for around 12 hours and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider.

Epstein was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell, allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione (pictured) had inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected of being marks from a July suicide attempt

Epstein was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell, allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione (pictured) had inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected of being marks from a July suicide attempt

Epstein was was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell after allegedly telling his lawyers that his accused murderer cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione was the one who inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected to be marks from a July suicide attempt.

A source close to Epstein told that he appeared to be in good spirits.

‘There was no indication that he might try to take his own life,’ the source told

‘From what I saw, he was finally starting to adjust to prison. I think he was comforted by the rigidity of his new life.’

A source later told the New York Postthat Epstein was ‘real positive’ the night before his body was found.   ‘He was in great spirits the night before.

‘He was like, ‘I’ll see you Sunday’,’ the source said.

But on Saturday at 6.30am he was discovered dead from an apparent hanging.

Epstein told his lawyers that former police officer Tartaglione ‘roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch’.

While Epstein was in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at the time of his reported first suicide attempt on July 23, he shared a cell with the former police officer who was under extra security.

Tartaglione was charged with kidnapping and murdering four people in a 2016 drug deal gone wrong.

‘I spoke to his lawyers and they never hinted at that to me, but he must have said something to get off suicide watch,’ Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket told the New York Post on Wednesday.

The autopsy was completed Sunday, but the New York City's chief medical examiner listed the 66-year-old's cause of death as pending and not a suicide

His cell is seen above. Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck

His cell is seen above. Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck


The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck

The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck

Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy has found that he had sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones. One of the bones that was broken was the hyoid bone.

That particular bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck near the Adam’s apple.

Forensic experts say breaks to the hyoid bone can occur if someone hangs themselves but they are more common in strangulation.

Jonathan L. Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Washington Post that hyoid breaks are more commonly linked to homicidal strangulation rather than suicide by hanging.

He said if a hyoid bone is broken, pathologists will most likely conduct further investigations.

The location and width the noose, as well as if the body dropped during the hanging, will be analyzed.

The age of the person will also be taken into account because the hyoid hardens as a person ages and is more susceptible to breaks.

The bone starts as three small bones with connections and eventually hardens into the U-shape.

‘If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging,’ Arden said.

Ronnie L. White, a teenager accused of killing a police officer, died of an apparent suicide in his Maryland prison cell in 2008. His cause of death was changed to a homicide two days later when his autopsy showed his hyoid bone was broken. Medical examiners found that he was likely strangled with a sheet but no one was ever charged in his death.

‘I do know that Nick was not brought up on any charges at all in the institution, so they cleared him. It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded.’

Barket previously claimed his client was being implicated because he had complained about the conditions at MCC.

He also claimed Tartaglione saved Epstein’s life in July by alerting guards.

But a source said Epstein ‘had hope of getting bail on appeal’.

The Post reported that Epstein’s legal team was planning to file a motion related to his 2008 conviction in Florida where after pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, he was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors.

It also gave him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges and Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated.

‘What he really wanted to do was get bail so he could cooperate,’ the source told the Post. ‘He thought he was going to win the double-jeopardy motion.’

Epstein was transferred to the SHU when he was targeted for extortion, a source told The Daily Beast.

It was claimed last Saturday that the 66-year-old was constantly requesting toilet paper while he had his own cell and ‘lived like a pig in a sty’, eating his meals off the floor.

Barket added: ‘We were a little worried that he would make up something to get out of suicide watch or try and argue for bail, but it’s pretty clear what happened, given the end result here.’

West Palm Beach attorney Spencer Kuvin said he was skeptical of Epstein’s apparent suicide because he said the billionaire pedophile was too vain and always believed he was right.

Kuvin, who represented three of the women who sued Epstein in 2008 to 2009, told BBC Radio Wednesday that he had met Epstein at various settlement meetings.

‘I am still not convinced that ultimately he took his own life,’ he said.

‘I’m not convinced because I knew him as a vain man, a very intelligent man who was a person who always defended what he did, even in light of all the evidence against him.

‘He basically took the position, that no matter how old these young girls were, that they chose to be with him and he didn’t care (about) their age.

‘So someone like that, I just find it very hard to believe that he would take his own life.’

And last Saturday one of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, partly blamed the judicial system for his client’s death and called out ‘jailers who appear to have recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way, heedlessly placing his life at risk and failing to protect him’.

Fernich expressed that his statement did not represent the views of everyone on Epstein’s defense team.

Fernich complained that his client was not a flight risk and was not being treated as innocent before proven guilty after authorities found child porn images during a raid at his home and dozens of women came forward with claims of abuse.

Attorney General William Barr has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. Barr said ‘it raises serious questions that must be answered’.

Fernich ended his statement: ‘The public needs to know exactly what happened and why – and how his custodians could have let it occur.’

The pedophile was in 'good spirits' ahead of his death, meeting daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider

The pedophile was in ‘good spirits’ ahead of his death, meeting daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider


Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Photo: New York State Sex Offender Registry

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and convicted sex offender, was found dead by suicide in his jail cell on Saturday morning. Epstein was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. The 66-year-old’s death came less than a day after a trove of disturbing court documents was made public offering details about his alleged abuse of dozens of mostly underage girls, as well who assisted him with or participated in the abuse — documents that implicate many rich and powerful men from the elite circles Epstein was once a member of.

While conspiracy theories have run amok in the aftermath of Epstein’s death, new details emerged on Sunday indicating that Epstein’s death may have come as a result of multiple failures on the part of the MCC and its staff. Below is everything we know so far.

The details of his death

According to NBC News, Epstein hanged himself at some point overnight Friday in his cell and was taken to a local hospital from the MCC on Saturday morning. Per the Department of Justice’s official statement:

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, at approximately 6:30 a.m., inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York, New York. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.

CBS News reported that there was shrieking and shouting when Epstein’s body was discovered the following day. Guards were heard attempting to revive him, saying, “Breathe, Epstein, breathe.”

BuzzFeed revealed on Tuesday that purported details about Epstein’s death were posted on 4Chan less than 40 minutes before ABC News broke the story on Saturday morning.

“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” reads the post, which was published along with an image of Pepe, the mascot of right-wing trolls. When others said they did not believe the original poster, the person added additional information about procedures supposedly used in an effort to revive Epstein.

A FDNY representative said that if accurate, the disclosure would be a violation of multiple privacy laws. The department is investigating.

News of security failures continues to pile up: On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that two guards in Epstein’s jail unit fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours. In an apparent cover-up attempt, they falsified records to hide their mistake.

Epstein’s Autopsy

On Sunday evening, New York Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson announced that she had completed an autopsy of Epstein under the observation of a private pathologist, but that she needed more information before she could officially determine his cause of death (which is not abnormal):

Sampson said Epstein’s representatives hired celebrity pathologist Michael Baden — who conducted private autopsies of Michael Brown and former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez — and that he was allowed to observe her autopsy.

The Metropolitan Correctional Facility, where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, is seen on August 10, 2019 in New York City. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Epstein had been taken off suicide watch, then left alone and under-monitored

Three weeks before his death, on July 23, Epstein had been found semiconscious in his cell with marks on his neck — though it was not clear if he had tried to harm himself or had been attacked. Prison officials investigated the injury as a possible suicide attempt and put Epstein on suicide watch, which would entail placing him in a special cell where he could be constantly monitored by prison personnel and prevented from having access to any means by which he could take his own life. Epstein was also subject to a daily psychiatric evaluation during this time, according to the New York Times.

But Epstein was taken off of suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the MCC’s special housing unit after a psychiatric evaluation determined he was no longer at risk of harming himself. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Epstein’s lawyers had requested he be removed from suicide watch.

MCC personnel then failed to follow proper procedures, which MCC officials had apparently assured Justice Department personnel they would follow.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that it is standard practice at the facility for inmates who have been on suicide watch to then be housed with other inmates. Epstein was placed in a cell with another inmate at first, but that inmate was later transferred out of the special housing unit, leaving Epstein alone in the cell, which reportedly had a metal door and a small glass window. It is not clear why Epstein was not immediately assigned another cellmate.

In addition, MCC guards are supposed to check on inmates in the special housing unit every 30 minutes, but reportedly failed to do so on Friday night. It is not yet confirmed how that was allowed to happen either.

MCC’s failures may be linked to staffing shortage, overworked employees

A prison official who spoke with the Times said that the two guards who were on duty on Friday night were both working overtime, and one was working his fifth consecutive overtime shift. According to Serene Gregg, the president of the union that represents the MCC’s employees, the two guards do not normally work as correctional officers, though they were trained to do so. She told the Washington Post that many of the jail’s employees have been working mandatory overtime, including 60 to 70-hour workweeks, thanks to the MCC having less than 70 percent of the correctional officers it should have. According to the New York Times, one of the guards on watch when Epstein hanged himself was a substitute.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that it had removed MCC’s warden and assigned a temporary replacement. It also placed two guards who had been assigned to Epstein on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation into Epstein’s death.

There had also been unconfirmed rumors that Epstein’s earlier injury had been the result of an attack, but he was reportedly found dead alone in his cell on Saturday morning.

The earlier possible suicide attempt, and what other inmates noticed about Epstein

Here is what the Daily Beast reported regarding the earlier possible suicide attempt and Epstein’s behavior in jail:

Epstein had initially been held in general population at MCC, where he’d been targeted for extortion as a wealthy pedophile, a source with knowledge of his circumstances told The Daily Beast, describing Epstein’s injuries from his prior alleged suicide attempt as small abrasions around his neck. …

At the time of [that] attempt, he shared a cell with Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer charged with kidnapping and murdering four people in 2016. …

Tartaglione’s lawyer, Bruce Barket, told authorities his client had saved Epstein’s life during the first suicide attempt by alerting corrections officers. He claimed Tartaglione was being implicated in the suicide attempt because he’d recently complained about conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, saying in a statement at the time, “we warned the judge that officials at the jail would retaliate against Nick because we have been exposing the inhumane conditions at the facility.”

The Beast’s source said that Epstein “lived like a pig in a sty” after his first attempted suicide, eating meals off the floor and making frequent requests for toilet paper.

A New York Medical Examiner’s car is parked outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center where financier Jeffrey Epstein was being held, on August 10, 2019, in New York. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

There is apparently no video footage of what happened

The New York Post reported on Sunday that no surveillance video exists of Epstein’s death. According to the Post’s sources, there are indeed video cameras in the section of the MCC where Epstein was housed on Friday night, but none target the inside or outside of the cells there.

Epstein’s death being investigated by the FBI, Justice Department, and New York Medical Examiner’s Office

The Department of Justice announced on Saturday that the FBI had opened an investigation into the circumstances of Epstein’s death — meaning that the FBI is looking to see whether or not a crime was committed. Attorney General William Barr additionally announced that the Justice Department’s inspector general would be conducting an investigation. Barr said he was “appalled to learn” that Epstein had taken his own life while in federal custody and that the incident “raises serious questions that must be answered.”

On Monday, he said the Justice Department had found “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and that prison staff had “failed to adequately secure this prisoner,” but did not go into further detail.

Meanwhile, the New York Medical Examiner’s office investigated Epstein’s cause of death over the weekend, and had been expected to release the results on Epstein’s autopsy on Sunday, but instead announced that the medical examiner needed more information before making an official determination. (This is not unusual.)

It seems likely that there will also be some congressional inquiries into the matter.

The investigation into Epstein, his crimes, and his co-conspirators will continue

One major concern following Epstein’s death is the fate of the investigation into his abuse of countless underage girls, as well as the potential consequences for his accomplices. Federal prosecutors said on Saturday that the investigation will continue, but how that shapes up remains to be seen.

According to former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, the criminal case against Epstein dies with him:

Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide ends the criminal case against him because no one else was charged in the indictment. … [It] means that there won’t be a public trial or other proceedings that could reveal evidence of his wrongdoing. Evidence collected via grand jury subpoena won’t be released to the public. It’s still likely that the public will learn additional information from civil cases by victims against his estate or non-criminal investigations (for example, the DOJ OIG investigation).

Saturday on the Cut, Matthew Schneier pointed out that Epstein’s death still meant that “thousands of questions may never have satisfactory answers, and focus is likely to intensify on his collaborators, co-conspirators, enablers, and friends.” Schneier then highlighted what a trove of newly unsealed court documents says about Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s best friend and alleged accomplice.

Epstein’s associates may now receive the full brunt of prosecutors’ attention, according to the Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown:

[With Epstein’s] death, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will likely refocus their probe on Maxwell, Sarah Kellen Vickers, Adriana Ross and Lesley Groff — all of whom allegedly helped run Epstein’s operation in the mid- to late-2000s. Another woman, Nadia Marcinkova, who is now a commercial pilot, was accused of sexually abusing some of the underage girls.

The SDNY ultimately confirmed as much on Saturday:

But the result of that process is hard to predict, former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade added in an interview with Intelligencer:

It may be that never pans out into any charges, for lots of reasons: A lack of evidence, evidence that’s unavailable because you needed Epstein. So it could be that we never hear anything more about it. But I think they’ll continue to investigate, and if they find evidence of a crime, that will become publicly known.

On Monday, at least a dozen FBI agents raided Epstein’s Little St. James residence. According to NBC News, the bureau was searching for evidence that could link co-conspirators to alleged crimes committed on the island.

Public pressure has increased on Epstein’s co-conspirators: Ghislaine Maxwell has been reportedly been found laying low in a colonial mansion in the seaside town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, north of Boston. And Prince Andrew, the royal who allegedly had sex with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has reportedly retired from public life.

Two of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, Michelle Licata and Courtney Wild, exit the courthouse after a hearing about the billionaire financier on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The response from Epstein’s victims

The Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown passed along some reactions from Epstein’s stunned victims:

Jena-Lisa Jones, who was molested by him when she was 14, said that Epstein took the coward’s way out. “I just can’t believe it, we were finally feeling that we might have some justice after all these years,’’ she said, her voice cracking.

Eva Ford, the mother of victim Courtney Wild, was angry. “How does someone who is this high profile commit suicide? They had to have cameras on him! Someone must have been paid to look the other way,’’ Ford said.

“I just want wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. I would never wish that somebody would die but he took the easy way out,’’ said victim Michelle Licata.

Added Jack Scarola, an attorney representing several of Epstein’s victims:

It is inexplicable how such a high-profile person on suicide watch could commit suicide without help. … Epstein once again cheated his victims out of an opportunity for justice. While I’m sure none of them regret his death, all of them regret the information that died with him. The one expectation is that Epstein’s death not derail the investigation into others who participated in his criminal activities. There are named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice.

Roberta Kaplan, who represents one of Epstein’s then-underage victims, said over the weekend that Epstein’s demise was “not only emotionally devastating but a real emotional roller coaster.”

Jennifer Araoz, one of Epstein’s accusers, forged ahead with plans to sue Epstein on Wednesday, filing a suit against his estate, his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, and three unnamed female household staffers. Arazoz, who was not named in the sex-trafficking indictment against Epstein, came forward last month, saying Epstein repeatedly sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and 15 years old, and forcibly raped her in 2002. The lawsuit was one of the first filed under New York’s Child Victims Act, which went into effect on Wednesday. It gives victims of child sexual abuse a chance to file civil cases against alleged abusers for the next year even if the statute of limitations has passed.

The inevitable suspicion and speculation

Considering Epstein’s extensive links to the rich and powerful — including presidents Trump and Clinton — Epstein’s death by post-suicide-watch suicide quickly led to suspicion and conspiracy theories from across the political spectrum. (Read our roundup of the top theories here.)

As tech and media commentator Charlie Warzel noted on Sunday, Epstein’s death is “in many ways, the post-truth nightmare scenario”:

The sordid story contains almost all the hallmarks of stereotypical conspiratorial fodder: child sex trafficking, powerful global political leaders, shadowy private jet flights, billionaires whose wealth cannot be explained. As a tale of corruption, it is so deeply intertwined with our current cultural and political rot that it feels, at times, almost too on-the-nose. The Epstein saga provides ammunition for everyone, leading one researcher to refer to Saturday’s news as the “Disinformation World Cup.”

Trump and allies push anti-Clinton conspiracy theory

Soon after the news broke, controversial Trump administration personality(and regional HUD director) Lynne Patton wrote on Instagram that Epstein had been “Hillary-d” — an attempt to promote a longstanding right-wing conspiracy theory falsely alleging that Bill and Hillary Clinton were responsible for the death of former White House lawyer Vince Foster.

Patton specifically referenced Foster, tagging the tabloid news post she shared about Epstein’s death “#VinceFosterPartTwo.”

She wasn’t the only one trying to connect Epstein’s death to the Clintons. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs tweeted a reference too, and #clintonbodycount began trending on Twitter on Saturday morning — a reference to a debunked conspiracy meme suggesting the Clintons had ordered dozens of people killed. Later, #trumpbodycount started trending in response, but it’s important to remember that both efforts may have been boosted by trollbots, and much of the conspiracy-minded response was based on the reportedly mistaken notion that Epstein died while on suicide watch.

By the early evening, the trending theory had attracted the attention-obsessed president of the United States, who himself retweeted two tweetslinking the Clintons to Epstein and his death. A senior White House official told Axios: “I think we’re beyond the point of trying to control these things.”

The non-Trump political response

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been expressing their alarm over what happened. Senator Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Saturday that it was “inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch,” and that by letting Epstein take his own life, the federal government had failed Epstein’s victims for the second time. “Obviously, heads must roll,” Sasse added in a letter to Attorney General William Barr:

Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him. … It should have been abundantly clear that Epstein would go to any lengths to avoid being held accountable for his crimes, including by killing himself. Being responsible for Epstein’s custody and prosecution, the Department of Justice should not have allowed this to happen.

Sasse hasn’t said anything about the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the matter yet. California Democrat Ted Lieu, meanwhile, has called for the House Judiciary Committee to launch an inquiry in Epstein’s death.

The home of Jeffrey Epstein has a large waterfront footprint in the Town of Palm Beach, not far from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Photo: Pedro Portal/TNS via Getty Images

Epstein’s finances, and the fate of his fortune

Another recurring question in light of Epstein’s demise is what will happen to his alleged fortune. Federal prosecutors have estimated Epstein’s wealth at over $500 million, but it still remains a mystery how much he really had — or how he earned it.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that two of the banks that did business with the shady financier, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, have been going through their records in order to determine what he used his accounts for. Deutsche Bank has already been sharing its Epstein records with authorities, while JPMorgan anticipates being asked to do the same.

Lisa Bloom, who is representing some of Epstein’s victims, said on Sundaythat she intends to sue Epstein’s estate on behalf of two clients. It is also possible that the SDNY could try to seize Epstein’s assets with a civil-forfeiture action.

Highlighting an epidemic

Reform advocates, academics, and others who are familiar with the prevalence of inadequate mental health care in America’s jails and prisons seem to be the least surprised by Epstein’s death by suicide.

The Miami Herald spoke with criminal justice professor Christine Tartaro, who has written a book about the issue of suicide behind bars. She explained that inmates often harm themselves at pretrial facilities (jails), where suicide is the leading cause of death. She said that Epstein being put on, and then taken off, suicide watch is not uncommon — nor is an inmate relapsing back into suicidal behavior afterward.

“The point of suicide watch is to get them through the initial suicide crisis, and then to work on helping the inmate navigate the correctional environment without attempting suicide,” she explained, adding, There are situations in which the inmate will feel better, and then regress and become suicidal again.”

The Human Rights Defense Center’s Deborah Golden told the Herald that the Bureau of Prisons, which runs federal facilities like the MCC, is known for providing inadequate mental health care and not employing enough psychiatrists. “They do a bad job at suicide prevention,” the reform advocate insisted, noting that suicide watch in federal facilities is typically more like special punishment than an intervention.

Inmate suicide expert Lindsay M. Hayes added that the punitive nature of suicide watch, which is highly restrictive and difficult to endure for inmates, leads many of them to fake feeling better when speaking with their evaluators. In addition, Hayes explained, assessing the suicide risk of inmates is a difficult process, and may have been even more challenging with an atypical inmate like Epstein.

This is a developing story and this post has been updated throughout. Please check back for more updates.

Alexander Acosta

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Alexander Acosta
Alexander Acosta official portrait.jpg
27th United States Secretary of Labor
In office
April 28, 2017 – July 19, 2019
President Donald Trump
Deputy Patrick Pizzella
Preceded by Tom Perez
Succeeded by Patrick Pizzella (acting)
Dean of the Florida International University College of Law
In office
July 1, 2009 – April 28, 2017
Preceded by Leonard Strickman
Succeeded by Antony Page
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
In office
June 11, 2005 – June 5, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Marcos Jiménez
Succeeded by Wifredo A. Ferrer
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Civil Rights Division
In office
August 22, 2003 – June 11, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Bradley Schlozman (acting)
Succeeded by Wan J. Kim
Member of the National Labor Relations Board
In office
December 17, 2002 – August 21, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by William Cowen
Succeeded by Ronald Meisburg
Personal details
Rene Alexander Acosta

January 16, 1969 (age 50)
Miami, Florida, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jan Williams
Education Harvard University (BAJD)
Website Government website

Rene Alexander Acosta (born January 16, 1969)[1] is an American attorney and politician who served as the 27th United States secretary of labor from 2017 to 2019. President Donald Trump nominated Acosta to be Labor Secretary on February 16, 2017, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 2017. Acosta is the only Hispanic person to have served in President Trump’s Cabinet.

A member of the Republican Party, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board and later served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He is the former dean of Florida International University College of Law.

In 2007–2008, as U.S. Attorney, Acosta approved a plea deal that required Jeffrey Epstein to plead guilty to a state charge of solicitation for the purposes of prostitution involving a 14-year-old girl, a deal which required he register as a sex offender and pay restitution to victims as part of a federal non-prosecution agreement. The prosecutors had identified 36 victims of Epstein, most of them having no prior knowledge of the agreement and no opportunity to give input. The deal has been the subject of long-term criticism by the Miami Herald and others due to its leniency and secrecy. After Epstein’s arrest in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges, Acosta faced renewed and harsher criticism for his role in the 2008 non-prosecution agreement, as well as calls for his resignation; he resigned on July 19 and was replaced by Deputy Secretary Patrick Pizzella.


Acosta is the only son of Cuban refugees.[2][3] He is a native of Miami, Florida, where he attended the Gulliver Schools. Acosta received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Harvard College in 1990 and received a Juris Doctor degree cum laude from Harvard Law School 1994.[4] He is the first member of his family to graduate from college.[3]

Following law school, Acosta served as a law clerk to Samuel Alito, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, from 1994 to 1995.[5] Acosta then worked at the office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellisin Washington, D.C., where he specialized in employment and labor issues.[6] While in Washington, Acosta taught classes on employment lawdisability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason University School of Law.[7]

On December 31, 2013, Acosta became the new chairman of U.S. Century Bank,[8] the largest domestically owned Hispanic community bank in Florida and one of the 15 largest Hispanic community banks in the nation. During his tenure as chairman, U.S. Century Bank had its first year-end profit since the start of the Great Recession.[2] Acosta was a member of the Board of Trustees of Gulliver Schools, where he served a past term as board chairman.[9]

Bush administration

Acosta served in four presidentially appointed, U.S. Senate-confirmed positions in the George W. Bush administration. From December 2001 to December 2002, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.[10] From December 2002 to August 2003, he was a member of the National Labor Relations Board for which he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions.[11]

Then, he became Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division on August 22, 2003,[12] where he was known for increasing federal prosecutions against human trafficking.[13] Acosta authorized federal intervention in an Oklahoma religious liberties case to help assure the right to wear hijab in public school,[14] and worked with Mississippi authorities to reopen the investigation of the 1955 death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth whose abduction and killing helped spark the civil rights movement.[15][16] He was the first Hispanic to serve as Assistant Attorney General.[17]

While leading the Civil Rights division, Acosta allowed his predecessor, Bradley Schlozman, to continue to make decisions on hiring.[18] A report by the inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility later found that Schlozman illegally gave preferential treatment to conservatives and made false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those findings were relayed to the office of the United States attorney for the District of Columbia,[10] but Schlozman was not prosecuted.[18] While it put the primary responsibility on Schlozman, the report also concluded that Acosta “did not sufficiently supervise Schlozman” and that “in light of indications [he and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sheldon Bradshaw] had about Schlozman’s conduct and judgment, they failed to ensure that Schlozman’s hiring and personnel decisions were based on proper considerations.”[10][18]

U.S. attorney for Southern District of Florida[edit]

In 2005, Acosta was appointed as the U.S. attorney for Southern District of Florida, where his office successfully prosecuted the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the terrorism suspect José Padilla, the founders of the Cali Cartel, and Charles McArther Emmanuel, the son of Liberia’s former leader.[10][19]

The district also targeted white collar crime, prosecuting several bank-related cases, including one against Swiss bank UBS. The case resulted in UBS paying $780 million in fines, and for the first time in history, the bank provided the United States with the names of individuals who were using secret Swiss bank accounts to avoid U.S. federal income taxes.[20]

Other notable cases during his tenure include the corruption prosecution of Palm Beach County Commission chairman Tony Masilotti, Palm Beach County commissioner Warren Newell, Palm Beach County commissioner Mary McCarty,[21] and Broward sheriff Ken Jenne; the conviction of Cali Cartel founders Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, for the importation of 200,000 kilos of cocaine, which resulted in a $2.1 billion forfeiture; and the white-collar crime prosecutions of executives connected to Hamilton Bank.[22]

Acosta also emphasized health care fraud prosecutions. Under Acosta’s leadership the district prosecuted more than 700 individuals, responsible for a total of more than $2 billion in Medicare fraud.[23]

Prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein

In 2007–2008, while serving as the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, Acosta approved a federal non-prosecution agreement[24] with Jeffrey Epstein, which has since been a subject of ongoing controversy. Epstein was a wealthy hedge fund manager with influential connections, including Prince AndrewTom BarrackLeon BlackBill ClintonAlan DershowitzWilbur Ross, and Donald Trump, among others. He was believed to have recruited minor girls for lewd massages and other paid sexual activities at his Florida mansion.[25][26]Under the agreement, Epstein, along with four co-conspirators and any unnamed “potential co-conspirators,” did not face federal criminal charges.[24] The agreement required Epstein to plead guilty to two state prostitution charges, serve jail time, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to victims identified by the FBI.[24] Prosecutors had identified 36 victims of Epstein, most of whom had been inappropriately deprived of knowledge of the plea deal or opportunity to give input.[25]

The federal agreement with Epstein was not a typical criminal law plea bargain, but instead employed a structure commonly used in regulatory settlements with corporations.[24] In an op-ed, the approach was described by a member of the prosecution team as a method to address the state of Florida’s prior decision not to bring felony charges against Epstein for the same activities.[27]

The federal agreement and Epstein’s subsequent lenient treatment while incarcerated by the State of Florida have been the subject of criticism, with the Miami Herald calling the agreement “the deal of a lifetime.”[25] The fact that the agreement with Epstein also protected unnamed “potential co-conspirators” from federal prosecution drew speculation that perhaps the deal was intended to protect influential people in Epstein’s orbit.[25] However, others have described that clause as intended to protect those of Epstein’s victims who had been enticed to help him recruit other victims for abuse.[28]

Acosta has variously stated that he was not directly involved in the unusual agreement, that prosecutors determined it to be the best available solution, and that he “was unduly pressured by Epstein’s heavy-hitting lawyers.” He also has argued the prosecution team believed conviction by trial in federal court was unlikely and an agreement would therefore be the best way to put an end to Epstein’s exploitation of underage girls.[29][30][25]

Subsequent to the federal non-prosecution agreement of 2007–2008, claims were made in news reports, books,[28][31] and civil lawsuits that Epstein’s activities prior to his 2008 conviction may have been significantly more extensive than those known at the time of the agreement—perhaps affecting hundreds of minors, said to have been recruited from the U.S. and overseas to attend sex parties and perform sexual favors for Epstein and his guests at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and aboard his private jet. None of the civil lawsuits related to these additional claims have gone to trial.

In late 2018, as rumors circulated that Acosta was being considered as a possible successor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Miami Herald published an investigation detailing Acosta’s role in the Epstein case. Among other revelations, the Herald reported that Acosta took the unusual step of meeting with Epstein’s attorney Jay Lefkowitz at the Marriott Hotel 70 miles from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami and that it was he who finalized the agreement. According to the article: “In email after email, Acosta and the lead federal prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaña, acquiesced to Epstein’s legal team’s demands, which often focused on ways to limit the scandal by shutting out his victims and the media, including suggesting that the charges be filed in Miami, instead of Palm Beach, where Epstein’s victims lived.”[25]

A key issue was that prosecutors agreed not to inform victims that the deal was in the works. The Herald describes an email from Epstein’s attorney after his off-site meeting with Acosta: “‘Thank you for the commitment you made to me during our Oct. 12 meeting,’ Lefkowitz wrote in a letter to Acosta after their breakfast meeting in West Palm Beach. He added that he was hopeful that Acosta would abide by a promise to keep the deal confidential. ‘You … assured me that your office would not … contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses or potential civil claimants and the respective counsel in this matter,’ Lefkowitz wrote.” The Herald article contended that certain aspects of Acosta’s non-prosecution agreement violated federal law. “As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.” Victims, former prosecutors, and the retired Palm Beach police chief were among those quoted criticizing the agreement and Acosta’s role in it.[25]

Following the Herald investigation and related news coverage, members of Congress submitted a formal request to the U.S. Department of Justice for review of Acosta’s role in the Epstein deal,[32] and several editorials called for Acosta’s resignation or termination from his then-current position as U.S. Labor Secretary.[33][34]

Jeffrey Sloman, one of the prosecutors in the case, defended the agreement in a February 2019 op-ed piece in the Miami Herald: “Our priorities were to make sure Epstein could not hurt anyone else and to compensate Epstein’s victims without retraumatizing them. Our team worked diligently to build a federal case against Epstein. Throughout the investigation, we took care to be respectful of the pain Epstein’s victims had endured. As we continued, however, it became clear that most of Epstein’s victims were terrified to cooperate against him. Some hired lawyers to avoid appearing before a grand jury. One of the key witnesses moved to Australia and refused to return calls from us. We also researched and discussed significant legal impediments to prosecuting [in federal court] what was, at heart, a local sex abuse case. Given the obstacles we faced in fashioning a robust federal prosecution, we decided to negotiate a resolution. … You can disagree with the result we reached, but our whole team — from Alex [Acosta] on down the chain of command — always acted with integrity and in good faith.” [27]

In December 2018, a Labor Department spokesperson replied to questions about renewed interest in the Epstein case as follows: “For more than a decade, this prosecution has been reviewed in great detail by newspaper articles, television reports, books, and Congressional testimony, and has been defended by the Department of Justice in litigation across three administrations and several attorneys general. If the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General chooses to review this matter, Secretary Acosta welcomes the opportunity to participate.”[35]

In February 2019, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility notified Senator Ben Sasse that it had opened an investigation into Epstein’s prosecution.[36][37]

On February 21, 2019, a ruling in federal court returned Acosta’s role in the Epstein case to the headlines.[38] The decision to keep the deal with Epstein secret until after it was finalized has been considered by some to be a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 (CVRA), which requires notifying victims of the progress of federal criminal cases. The CVRA was new and relatively untested at the time of the Epstein non-prosecution agreement. In 2008, two of Epstein’s victims filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to vacate the federal non-prosecution agreement on the grounds that it violated the CVRA.[25] For more than a decade, the U.S. Attorney’s office denied that it acted in violation of victims’ rights laws and argued that the CVRA did not apply in the Epstein case.[39] The government’s contention that the CVRA did not apply was based on questions of timing (whether or not CVRA applied prior to filing of federal charges), relevance (whether the CVRA applied to non-prosecution agreements), and jurisdiction (whether the case should be considered a federal case or a state case under the CVRA). The court rejected those arguments in the February 21, 2019, ruling, finding that the CVRA did apply and that victims should have been notified of the Epstein non-prosecution agreement in advance of its signing, to afford them the opportunity to influence its terms. At the conclusion of his ruling, the federal judge in the case noted that he was “not ruling that the decision not to prosecute was improper,” but was “simply ruling that, under the facts of this case, there was a violation of the victims rights [for reasonable, accurate, and timely notice] under the CVRA.”[40]

Because the CVRA does not specify penalties for failure to meet victims notification requirements, the judge offered both parties opportunities to suggest remedies—Epstein’s victims who were party to the suit asked for rescission of the federal non-prosecution agreement with Epstein, while the government suggested other approaches, maintaining that other victims were against rescinding the agreement due to privacy concerns and possible impacts to restitution paid under the agreement.[41]

On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force on sex trafficking charges stemming from activities alleged to have occurred in 2002–2005.[42]

Dean of the Florida International University College of Law

On July 1, 2009, Acosta became the second dean of Florida International University College of Law.[43] He spearheaded the effort to establish the Master of Studies in Law in banking compliance, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering at FIU Law.[17]

Secretary of Labor

Nomination and confirmation

Acosta meeting with apprentice program participants as the secretary of labor.

President Donald Trump announced in a press conference on February 16, 2017, that he would nominate Acosta to fill the position of Secretary of Labor after the nomination of Andrew Puzder was withdrawn.[44][45][46][47][48] Acosta was recommended by White House counsel Don McGahn.[49] Acosta is the first, and – as of May 2019 – the only Hispanic person to serve in Trump’s cabinet.[50][51][52][53] Jovita Carranza was nominated to Trump’s cabinet on April 4, 2019, but not yet confirmed, to serve as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.[54]

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held confirmation hearings on March 22, 2017, and Acosta’s nomination was reported out of the committee on March 30, 2017. [55]

On April 27, 2017, Acosta was confirmed as Secretary of Labor by the U.S. Senate in a 60–38 vote. He received the support of eight Democratic Senators and all Republican senators except Senator Pat Toomey, who did not participate in the vote.[56] On April 28, 2017, Acosta was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence.[57]


In 2019, Acosta proposed cutting the funding of his department’s International Labor Affairs Bureau from $68 million in 2018 to under $20 million in 2020. That agency combats human trafficking (including child sex trafficking), child labor and forced labor internationally.[58][59]

During Acosta’s confirmation hearing, he discussed the need and his support of apprenticeship as a workforce development tool to close the skills gap.[30] On June 15, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13801, “Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” establishing the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion with Acosta serving as the chair.[60][61] The task force held five public meetings and issued their final report to President Trump on May 10, 2018.[62][61]

Following the task force final report, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the following initiatives to expand and promote apprenticeship opportunities:

Acosta announced that the Trump administration maintained a goal of one million new apprentices.[66]

Acosta resigned as Labor Secretary, effective July 19, 2019, following criticism of his role in the Epstein case.[67]


Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine. He serves or served on the Florida Innocence Commission,[68] on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism,[69] Florida Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission,[17] and on the Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities.[70] In 2008, Acosta was named as one of the 100 most influential people in business ethics by the Ethisphere Institute.[71]

References …


Story 2: Communist China Threatens United States Over The Proposed Sale of 66 Fighting Falcon F-16V Fighters to Republic of China (Taiwan) — Videos —

China urges U.S. to refrain from selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan

Trump administration to sell F-16 jets to Taiwan

U.S. State Dept. to sell 66 advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan



Trump pushes forward with sale of 66 F-16V fighters jets to Taiwan despite China complaints

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China Threatens Trump Over F-16 Sale to Taiwan

The White House has been largely silent about the proposed controversial sale amid a perception that China’s crackdowns in Hong Kong portend broader ambitions.

U.S. News & World Report

China Threatens Trump for Taiwan F-16 Sale

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2019, file photo, U.S. fighter aircraft F-16 perform aerobatic maneuvers on the last day of Aero India 2019 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India. The Trump administration has informed Congress it plans to sell F-16 fighters worth $8 billion to Taiwan in a move that will inflame already high tensions with China. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

The Trump administration has informed Congress it plans to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan in a move that will inflame already high tensions with China.(AIJAZ RAHI/AP-FILE)

CHINA ON FRIDAY threatened the U.S. with unspecified “countermeasures” if it follows through with a planned sale of F-16s fighter jets to Taiwan – the first of what will likely be many repercussions for the Trump administration’s military support for a country Beijing considers a renegade province.


News of the planned sale emerged early Friday after the State Department informed Congress Thursday evening of the administration’s intent to sell 66 of the Fighting Falcon jets to Taiwan. Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees – which would need ultimately to approve the sale – issued statements of support shortly after. The chairman and ranking member of the House committee called the sale “a strong message about the U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific” against China’s “military aggression in the region.”

Beijing, however, blasted the move, saying through its state news service it opposes the sale and has lodged complaints to its American counterparts. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that China would “take countermeasures and the U.S. will be responsible for all related consequences,” Xinhua news reported.

The White House has been largely silent about the sale. It comes at a particularly consequential time in U.S.-Chinese relations as a trade war looms with both sides threatening further economic punishments against the other. Chinese President Xi Jinping also faces domestic unrest over widespread pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong – a semi-autonomous state that came under Chinese control from the British in 1997 – and subsequent harsh crackdowns from Chinese authorities.

Despite taking a hard line against China’s policies, Trump has not openly criticized President Xi Jinping in recent weeks, despite continued crackdowns in Hong Kong, as he tries to maintain forward momentum in resolving the trade dispute.

“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?” Trump tweeted on Wednesday in what some feared could be interpreted as a tacit approval of China’s actions so far.

Many analysts believe China’s attempts to exert more control over Hong Kong’s administration portends an attempt to similarly attempt to annex Taiwan – a government only formally recognized by fewer than two dozen countries due to Chinese pressure. Taiwan is represented in the U.S., for example, through an economic and cultural representative office, not an embassy.

“The United States must make clear to China that it cannot achieve a fait accompli in Taiwan or elsewhere, nor can it escalate its way to victory through the use of force,” Christopher Dougherty, a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security’s Defense Program, said in an analysis note earlier this week.

Containing China, and the likelihood it could escalate its use of military force, rests on defending U.S. interests and that of its allies, including Taiwan, Dougherty said.

Other analysts believe the sale represents more of a symbolic gesture to the island nation rather than genuinely bolstering the capabilities of its military against a potential conflict with China’s massive armed forces. Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Washington Post that China will oppose the sale but it won’t ultimately trigger any broader crises.

“This in and of itself is not going to derail progress on a trade agreement,” Glaser said.

She adds the new jets will be comparable in capability to upgrades to Taiwan’s existing fleet that the Obama administration oversaw. The U.S. hasn’t sold new F-16s to Taiwan since the George H.W. Bush administration.

Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer

Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow   READ MORE

China threatens a ‘PEOPLE’S WAR’ on US and blames the trade war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’ as tensions escalate between Beijing and Washington

  • The mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party blasted U.S. in a new column
  • Beijing called the ongoing trade war the creation of ‘one person’ and ‘one team’
  • The article from Monday also claimed that Washington has been ‘lying non-stop’ 
  • While Trump said this week that he would tolerate ‘no more’ abuses from Beijing  
  • Tensions are high as Trump and Xi are set to meet at G20 leaders’ summit in June

China has waged a ‘people’s war’ on the U.S. and blamed the intensified tariff war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’.

In a new commentary published by Global Times, the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, Beijing called the trade war the creation of just ‘one person’ and ‘one team’ – referring to Trump and his administration without naming names.

It said that the Trump administration hijacked the interests of all American people to fight the war with China.

The column, released on Monday, also claimed that Washington has been ‘lying non-stop throughout the war’ because otherwise Trump’s team ‘won’t feel motivated’.

In a new commentary published by Global Times, the mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, Beijing calls the trade war the creation of just 'one person' and 'one team' - referring to Trump and his administration without naming names.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at G20 leaders' summit next month in Japan

The commentary was written in response to the comment made by White House’s top economic adviser on Sunday regarding who would pay for the tariffs imposed by U.S. on Chinese goods.

Larry Kudlow has acknowledged that U.S. consumers and businesses will pay the tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods – even though President Trump himself insisted in a tweet, incorrectly, that China pays.

‘Washington originally hoped to finish [the trade war] quickly, and did not prepare to fight a long-lasting war psychologically. Now it is mobilizing [its team] last minute with baffling words that do not hold water,’ said the article which was re-published by Xinhua News Agency.

‘China is not a small country and does not earn our daily bread from U.S. only.

‘Particularly in today’s world, the Chinese market is huge and very close to the U.S. market in size, and the trend is [we] will overtake the U.S.,’ it added.

The column concluded by saying that ‘the U.S. side fights because of its greed and arrogance’ while China simply launched an counterattack ‘to protect our legitimate rights and interests’.

It continued: ‘The U.S. trade war is supported and fought by one person and one team and it hijacks the people of that country.

‘As for China, our entire country and all people are hijacked in the meantime. For us, this is a real “People’s War”.’

President Donald Trump (right) expanded his tariff regime to include practically everything China exports to the US; Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) retaliated Monday but said his own tariffs won't go into effect until June. The pair are pictured in November 2017

China announced Monday it would raise tariffs on $60 billion in US exports by next month, responding in kind to President Donald Trump's decision last week to hike duties on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese merchandise

A Chinese worker adjusts a hydraulic lift at a factory which produces construction machinery for export to many countries, including the US, in Jinan, in east China's Shandong province

A Chinese worker adjusts a hydraulic lift at a factory which produces construction machinery for export to many countries, including the US, in Jinan, in east China’s Shandong province

Donald Trump predicted Tuesday that the U.S. will notch a trade victory in what he described as ‘a little squabble with China.’

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House, the president grinned as he asked: ‘You want to know something? You want to know something? We always win.’

And Trump warned that he might stack even more tariffs on a growing pile of anti-China duties in order to put additional pressure on Beijing.

‘We’re looking at it very strongly,’ Trump said.

‘This has never happened to China before,’ he said of the already painful tariff regime that shows no sign of letting up.

And the president underscored that Americans who might find themselves saddled with the costs of his tariffs can take them out of the equation by freezing the Chinese out.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday of the trade 'squabble' with China that 'we always win'

Trump went all-in Tuesday on his China trade war, escalating the high-stakes poker game he's playing with Chinese President XiJinping

Trump went all-in Tuesday on his China trade war, escalating the high-stakes poker game he’s playing with Chinese President XiJinping

‘You have no tariff to pay whatsoever if you’re a business. All you have to do is build or make your product in the United States,’ he said.

He also suggested Americans buy products ‘from someplace else other than China.’

‘I think we’re winning it. We’re going to be collecting over $100 billion in tariffs,’ Trump said.

‘I think it’s going to turn out extremely well,’ he added, declaring that America is ‘in a very, very strong position.’

Trump began Tuesday with an extended Twitter rant directed squarely at Beijing, warning that he’s done making trade concessions to his Chinese rival Xi Jinping.

The president’s nine tweets blasted China for walking away from what had been a nearly finished deal, just hours after telling an audience at the White House that extended talks would be ‘very successful.’

He also pledged to bail out U.S. farmers who are feeling a financial pinch as China’s market tightens, saying he will use money collected through newly imposed tariffs on Chinese products at the border.

And throughout, Trump insisted America is powerful enough to outlast a great stonewall from China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is emerging as Trump’s most potent economic adversary on the world stage as he works to protect China’s trade advantages – which Trump claims are the result of former presidents’ mishandling

Trump began Tuesday with an early-morning tweet-storm that showed no hint of hesitation about his aggressive posture

‘We are now a much bigger economy than China, and have substantially increased in size since the great 2016 Election. We are the ‘piggy bank’ that everyone wants to raid and take advantage of. NO MORE!’ he tweeted.

Trump wrote that America’s ‘great Patriot Farmers’ will ultimately benefit from a reoriented trans-Pacific trade balance, and ‘[h]opefully China will do us the honor of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best.’

But if not, he added, he will step in with subsidies: ‘This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid to the United States for allowing China, and others, to do business with us.’

‘The Farmers have been ‘forgotten’ for many years. Their time is now!’ he concluded.

Trump called his friendship with Xi ‘unlimited’ in his tweet-storm, and suggested that his patience with China’s trade negotiators also has a distant expiration date.

‘When the time is right we will make a deal with China. My respect and friendship with President Xi is unlimited but, as I have told him many times before, this must be a great deal for the United States or it just doesn’t make any sense,’ he wrote.+18

The president has escalated his trade war this month with new tariffs and a take-no-prisoners approach to cutting a long-term deal with China

An hour after he tweeted his opening salvo on Tuesday, the president pledged to bail out U.S. farmers who have lost contracts with China

The president’s all-in move on trade comes a day after American stock markets plummeted by more than 600 points, and only stabilized after he told reporters he will personally meet with Xi next month in Japan.


China announced on May 13 that it will increase tariffs on 5,140 U.S. products, worth about $60 billion.

A higher 25% will be levied on 2,493 products including:

  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Soy oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Petrochemicals
  • Frozen minerals
  • Cosmetics

Other products will get tariffs of 5% to 20% including:

  • Soybeans
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Whiskey
  • Ethanol

Some products remain tariff free such as:

  • Crude oil
  • Airplanes 

‘I’ll meet with him directly. Yes, I’ll be meeting with President Xi of China,’ he said reporters in the Oval Office, alongside Viktor Orbán, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary.

‘And that will be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting,’ he added.

Trump’s annoucement briefly halted the market’s slide, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 617 points. Only one other day this year, January 3, has seen worse market losses.

Both leaders will be in Osaka, Japan for the annual G20 leaders’ summit June 28-29.

There had been some doubt inside the White House about whether Trump would make the trip at all. He is already going to Toyko this month for a separate trip related to the ascension of Japan’s new emperor.

China had Monday morning that it would hike import tariffs to as high as 25 per cent on U.S. goods, and bluntly told Trump it would ‘never surrender’ on trade.

Trump warned Xi Jinping on Monday that if he doesn’t make a trade deal, companies will flee China to avoid increasing their prices in the U.S. as a result of the president’s punishing new tariffs.

Trump levied new tariffs Friday on practically everything China exports to the United States in the hope of forcing Beijing to come back to the negotiating table for talks about a long list of what the White House sees as trade abuses.

‘I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

But China showed no sign of backing down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 700 points Monday before ending the day down 617 as traders reacted to an increasingly aggressive U.S.-China trade war; the bleeding temporarily stopped after Trump announced he will meet with Xi next month

A statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council, China’s cabinet, said: ‘China’s adjustment of tariff-adding measures is a response to US unilateralism and trade protectionism.’

It added that it hoped the U.S. would work with China towards a ‘win-win agreement.’ Despite the retaliation, Beijing appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date.

‘China will never surrender to external pressure,’ foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular press briefing on Monday.

Trump continues to insist the U.S. has the upper hand and will force China to give in on conditions for future trade in order to ink a stable deal.

‘We’re in a great position right now, no matter what we do,’ he said. ‘Yeah, I think China wants to have it, because companies are already announcing they are … leaving China and going to other countries so they don’t have to pay the [U.S.] tariff.’

A container ship sat docked at the Port of Oakland on Monday in California as China retaliated against Trump’s latest Tariffs by threatening their own – a 25 percent import tax on $60 billion of U.S. goods entering China

Trump spoke to reporters Monday in the Oval office alongside Viktor Orbán, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary

The Dow was down than 475 points when markets opened. That selloff came after China announced that its tariff increases would go into effect on June 1.

But Trump appeared to stop the bleeding temporarily by giving traders hope that the day’s uncertainties would have an expiration date.

The four worst single-day losses in the history of the Dow Jones average all came during the Trump presidency, in 2018. He also presided over the biggest-ever daily gain, and six of the top 10.

This year’s January 3 selloff, which dropped the Dow by 660 points, was immediately followed by a gain of nearly 747 points the next day – the fourth-largest gain ever.

 Monday’s fall in the Dow Jones index came after stocks weathered a pair of similar tumbles this month, losing value when President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese goods and then rebounding on the hope of a trade deal.

The result has been a volatile week-long roller coaster with no end in sight.

Last Thursday morning the Dow skidded 580 points, only to regain nearly 470 by close of trading on Friday.

The tech-heavy NADAQ stock index was down 1.7 per cent on Monday and the S&P 500 lost 2.1 per cent by midday.

The president insisted over the weekend that a robust 3.2 per cent growth in the American GDP is tied to his aggressive tariff policy, and suggested Monday that China has far more to lose than the U.S.

‘I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

:China threatens a ‘People’s War’ on US and blames the trade war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

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F-16 Fighting Falcon
Aerial view of jet aircraft, carrying cylindrical fuel tanks and ordnance, overflying desert
A USAF F-16C over Iraq in 2008
Role Multirole fighterair superiority fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
First flight 20 January 1974; 45 years ago(unplanned)
2 February 1974; 45 years ago(official)
Introduction 17 August 1978; 41 years ago
Status In service
Primary users United States Air Force
25 other users (see operators page)
Produced 1973–2017, 2019–present[1]
Number built 4,604 (June 2018)[2][3]
Unit cost
F-16A/B: US$14.6 million (1998)[4]
F-16C/D: US$18.8 million (1998)[4]
Variants General Dynamics F-16 VISTA
Developed into Vought Model 1600
General Dynamics F-16XL
Mitsubishi F-2

The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (now part of Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,600 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.[5] Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers.[6] In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation,[7] which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.[8]

The Fighting Falcon’s key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system which helps to make it an agile aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. The F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, but “Viper” is commonly used by its pilots and crews, due to a perceived resemblance to a viper snake as well as the Colonial Viper starfighter on Battlestar Galactica which aired at the time the F-16 entered service.[9][10]

In addition to active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations.[11] As of 2015, it is the world’s most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service.[12]


Lightweight Fighter program

Experiences in the Vietnam War revealed the need for air superiority fighters and better air-to-air training for fighter pilots.[13] Based on his experiences in the Korean War and as a fighter tactics instructor in the early 1960s, Colonel John Boyd with mathematician Thomas Christie developed the energy–maneuverability theory to model a fighter aircraft’s performance in combat. Boyd’s work called for a small, lightweight aircraft that could maneuver with the minimum possible energy loss and which also incorporated an increased thrust-to-weight ratio.[14][15] In the late 1960s, Boyd gathered a group of like-minded innovators who became known as the Fighter Mafia, and in 1969, they secured Department of Defense funding for General Dynamics and Northrop to study design concepts based on the theory.[16][17]

Air Force F-X proponents remained hostile to the concept because they perceived it as a threat to the F-15 program. However, the Air Force’s leadership understood that its budget would not allow it to purchase enough F-15 aircraft to satisfy all of its missions.[18] The Advanced Day Fighter concept, renamed F-XX, gained civilian political support under the reform-minded Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, who favored the idea of competitive prototyping. As a result, in May 1971, the Air Force Prototype Study Group was established, with Boyd a key member, and two of its six proposals would be funded, one being the Lightweight Fighter (LWF). The Request for Proposals issued on 6 January 1972 called for a 20,000-pound (9,100 kg) class air-to-air day fighter with a good turn rate, acceleration, and range, and optimized for combat at speeds of Mach 0.6–1.6 and altitudes of 30,000–40,000 feet (9,100–12,000 m). This was the region where USAF studies predicted most future air combat would occur. The anticipated average flyaway cost of a production version was $3 million. This production plan, though, was only notional, as the USAF had no firm plans to procure the winner.[19][20]

Selection of finalists and flyoff

Two jet aircraft flying together over mountain range and cloud

A right-side view of a YF-16 (foreground) and a Northrop YF-17, each armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles

Five companies responded, and in 1972, the Air Staff selected General Dynamics’ Model 401 and Northrop’s P-600 for the follow-on prototype development and testing phase. GD and Northrop were awarded contracts worth $37.9 million and $39.8 million to produce the YF-16 and YF-17, respectively, with first flights of both prototypes planned for early 1974. To overcome resistance in the Air Force hierarchy, the Fighter Mafia and other LWF proponents successfully advocated the idea of complementary fighters in a high-cost/low-cost force mix. The “high/low mix” would allow the USAF to be able to afford sufficient fighters for its overall fighter force structure requirements. The mix gained broad acceptance by the time of the prototypes’ flyoff, defining the relationship of the LWF and the F-15.[21][22]

The YF-16 was developed by a team of General Dynamics engineers led by Robert H. Widmer.[23] The first YF-16 was rolled out on 13 December 1973. Its 90-minute maiden flight was made at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California, on 2 February 1974. Its actual first flight occurred accidentally during a high-speed taxi test on 20 January 1974. While gathering speed, a roll-control oscillation caused a fin of the port-side wingtip-mounted missile and then the starboard stabilator to scrape the ground, and the aircraft then began to veer off the runway. The test pilot, Phil Oestricher, decided to lift off to avoid a potential crash, safely landing six minutes later. The slight damage was quickly repaired and the official first flight occurred on time. The YF-16’s first supersonic flight was accomplished on 5 February 1974, and the second YF-16 prototype first flew on 9 May 1974. This was followed by the first flights of Northrop’s YF-17 prototypes on 9 June and 21 August 1974, respectively. During the flyoff, the YF-16s completed 330 sorties for a total of 417 flight hours;[24] the YF-17s flew 288 sorties, covering 345 hours.[25]

Air Combat Fighter competition

Increased interest turned the LWF into a serious acquisition program. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies BelgiumDenmark, the Netherlands, and Norway were seeking to replace their F-104G Starfighter fighter-bombers.[26] In early 1974, they reached an agreement with the U.S. that if the USAF ordered the LWF winner, they would consider ordering it as well. The USAF also needed to replace its F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom II fighter-bombers. The U.S. Congress sought greater commonality in fighter procurements by the Air Force and Navy, and in August 1974 redirected Navy funds to a new Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) program that would be a navalized fighter-bomber variant of the LWF. The four NATO allies had formed the “Multinational Fighter Program Group” (MFPG) and pressed for a U.S. decision by December 1974; thus, the USAF accelerated testing.[27][28][29]

YF-16 on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center

To reflect this serious intent to procure a new fighter-bomber, the LWF program was rolled into a new Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition in an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger in April 1974. The ACF would not be a pure fighter, but multi-role, and Schlesinger made it clear that any ACF order would be in addition to the F-15, which extinguished opposition to the LWF.[28][29][30] ACF also raised the stakes for GD and Northrop because it brought in competitors intent on securing what was touted at the time as “the arms deal of the century”.[31] These were Dassault-Breguet’s proposed Mirage F1M-53, the Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguar, and the proposed Saab 37E “Eurofighter”. Northrop offered the P-530 Cobra, which was similar to the YF-17. The Jaguar and Cobra were dropped by the MFPG early on, leaving two European and the two U.S. candidates. On 11 September 1974, the U.S. Air Force confirmed plans to order the winning ACF design to equip five tactical fighter wings. Though computer modeling predicted a close contest, the YF-16 proved significantly quicker going from one maneuver to the next, and was the unanimous choice of those pilots that flew both aircraft.[32]

On 13 January 1975, Secretary of the Air Force John L. McLucas announced the YF-16 as the winner of the ACF competition.[33] The chief reasons given by the Secretary were the YF-16’s lower operating costs, greater range, and maneuver performance that was “significantly better” than that of the YF-17, especially at supersonic speeds. Another advantage of the YF-16 – unlike the YF-17 – was its use of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan engine, the same powerplant used by the F-15; such commonality would lower the cost of engines for both programs.[34] Secretary McLucas announced that the USAF planned to order at least 650, possibly up to 1,400 production F-16s. In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.[35][36]

Commencement of production

Upright aerial photo of gray jet aircraft flying above clouds.

An F-16C of the Colorado Air National Guard with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod, and a centerline fuel tank (300 gal capacity).

The U.S. Air Force initially ordered 15 “Full-Scale Development” (FSD) aircraft (11 single-seat and four two-seat models) for its flight test program, but was reduced to eight (six F-16A single-seaters and two F-16B two-seaters).[37] The YF-16 design was altered for the production F-16. The fuselage was lengthened by 10.6 in (0.269 m), a larger nose radome was fitted for the AN/APG-66 radar, wing area was increased from 280 sq ft (26 m2) to 300 sq ft (28 m2), the tailfin height was decreased, the ventral fins were enlarged, two more stores stations were added, and a single door replaced the original nosewheel double doors. The F-16’s weight was increased by 25% over the YF-16 by these modifications.[38][39]

The FSD F-16s were manufactured by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas at United States Air Force Plant 4 in late 1975; the first F-16A rolled out on 20 October 1976 and first flew on 8 December. The initial two-seat model achieved its first flight on 8 August 1977. The initial production-standard F-16A flew for the first time on 7 August 1978 and its delivery was accepted by the USAF on 6 January 1979. The F-16 was given its formal nickname of “Fighting Falcon” on 21 July 1980, entering USAF operational service with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah on 1 October 1980.[40]

On 7 June 1975, the four European partners, now known as the European Participation Group, signed up for 348 aircraft at the Paris Air Show. This was split among the European Participation Air Forces (EPAF) as 116 for Belgium, 58 for Denmark, 102 for the Netherlands, and 72 for Norway. Two European production lines, one in the Netherlands at Fokker‘s Schiphol-Oost facility and the other at SABCA’s Gosselies plant in Belgium, would produce 184 and 164 units respectively. Norway’s Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk and Denmark’s Terma A/S also manufactured parts and subassemblies for EPAF aircraft. European co-production was officially launched on 1 July 1977 at the Fokker factory. Beginning in November 1977, Fokker-produced components were sent to Fort Worth for fuselage assembly, then shipped back to Europe for final assembly of EPAF aircraft at the Belgian plant on 15 February 1978; deliveries to the Belgian Air Forcebegan in January 1979. The first Royal Netherlands Air Force aircraft was delivered in June 1979. In 1980, the first aircraft were delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force by SABCA and to the Royal Danish Air Force by Fokker.[41][42]

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) produced 232 Block 30/40/50 F-16s on a production line in Ankara under license for the Turkish Air Force. TAI also produced 46 Block 40s for Egypt in the mid-1990s and 30 Block 50 from 2010. Korean Aerospace Industries opened a production line for the KF-16 program, producing 140 Block 52s from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s (decade). If India had selected the F-16IN for its Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft procurement, a sixth F-16 production line would have been built in India.[43] In May 2013, Lockheed Martin stated there were currently enough orders to keep producing the F-16 until 2017.[44]

Improvements and upgrades

One change made during production was augmented pitch control to avoid deep stall conditions at high angles of attack. The stall issue had been raised during development, but had originally been discounted. Model tests of the YF-16 conducted by the Langley Research Center revealed a potential problem, but no other laboratory was able to duplicate it. YF-16 flight tests were not sufficient to expose the issue; later flight testing on the FSD aircraft demonstrated there was a real concern. In response, the area of the horizontal stabilizer were increased by 25% on the Block 15 aircraft in 1981 and later retrofitted to earlier aircraft. In addition, a manual override switch to disable the horizontal stabilizer flight limiter was prominently placed on the control console, allowing the pilot to regain control of the horizontal stabilizers (which the flight limiters otherwise lock in place) and recover. Besides reducing the risk of deep stalls, the larger horizontal tail also improved stability and permitted faster takeoff rotation.[45][46]

In the 1980s, the Multinational Staged Improvement Program (MSIP) was conducted to evolve the F-16’s capabilities, mitigate risks during technology development, and ensure the aircraft’s worth. The program upgraded the F-16 in three stages. The MSIP process permitted the quick introduction of new capabilities, at lower costs and with reduced risks compared to traditional independent upgrade programs.[47] In 2012, the USAF had allocated $2.8 billion to upgrade 350 F-16s while waiting for the F-35 to enter service.[48] One key upgrade has been an auto-GCAS (Ground collision avoidance system) to reduce instances of controlled flight into terrain.[49] Onboard power and cooling capacities limit the scope of upgrades, which often involve the addition of more power-hungry avionics.[50]

Lockheed won many contracts to upgrade foreign operators’ F-16s. BAE Systems also offers various F-16 upgrades, receiving orders from South Korea, Oman, Turkey, and the US Air National Guard;[51][52][53] BAE lost the South Korean contract due to a price breach in November 2014.[54] In 2012, the USAF assigned the total upgrade contract to Lockheed Martin.[55] Upgrades include Raytheon’s Center Display Unit, which replaces several analog flight instruments with a single digital display.[56]

In 2013, sequestration budget cuts cast doubt on the USAF’s ability to complete the Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite (CAPES), a part of secondary programs such as Taiwan’s F-16 upgrade.[57] ACC‘s General Mike Hostage stated that if he only had money for SLEP (service life extension program) or CAPES, he would fund SLEP to keep the aircraft flying.[58] Lockheed Martin responded to talk of CAPES cancellation with a fixed-price upgrade package for foreign users.[59] CAPES was not included in the Pentagon’s 2015 budget request.[60] The USAF said that the upgrade package will still be offered to the Republic of China Air Force, and Lockheed said that some common elements with the F-35 will keep the radar’s unit costs down.[61] In 2014, the USAF issued a RFI to SLEP 300 F-16 C/Ds.[62]

Production relocation

To make more room for assembly of its newer F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, Lockheed Martin moved the F-16 production from Fort Worth, Texas to its plant in Greenville, South Carolina.[1] Lockheed delivered the last F-16 from Fort Worth to the Iraqi Air Force on 14 November 2017, ending forty years of F-16 production there. The company is hoping to finish the Greenville move and restart production in 2019, though engineering and modernization work will remain in Fort Worth.[63] A gap in orders made it possible to stop production during the move; after completing orders for the last Iraqi purchase,[64] the company was negotiating an F-16 sale to Bahrain that would be produced in Greenville. This contract was signed in June 2018.[3]



Comparison between F-16’s inset cannon; early aircraft had four leading vents, a grille, and four trailing vents, while later aircraft had two trailing vents only.

The F-16 is a single-engine, highly maneuverable, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter aircraft. It is much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, but uses advanced aerodynamics and avionics, including the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire (RSS/FBW) flight control system, to achieve enhanced maneuver performance. Highly agile, the F-16 was the first fighter aircraft purpose-built to pull 9-g maneuvers and can reach a maximum speed of over Mach 2. Innovations include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, a side-mounted control stick, and a reclined seat to reduce g-force effects on the pilot. It is armed with an internal M61 Vulcan cannon in the left wing root and has multiple locations for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing power to climb and vertical acceleration.[4]

The F-16 was designed to be relatively inexpensive to build and simpler to maintain than earlier-generation fighters. The airframe is built with about 80% aviation-grade aluminum alloys, 8% steel, 3% composites, and 1.5% titanium. The leading-edge flaps, stabilators, and ventral fins make use of bonded aluminum honeycomb structures and graphite epoxy lamination coatings. The number of lubrication points, fuel line connections, and replaceable modules is significantly lower than preceding fighters; 80% of the access panels can be accessed without stands.[43] The air intake was placed so it was rearward of the nose but forward enough to minimize air flow losses and reduce aerodynamic drag.[65]

Although the LWF program called for a structural life of 4,000 flight hours, capable of achieving 7.33 g with 80% internal fuel; GD’s engineers decided to design the F-16’s airframe life for 8,000 hours and for 9-g maneuvers on full internal fuel. This proved advantageous when the aircraft’s mission changed from solely air-to-air combat to multi-role operations. Changes in operational use and additional systems have increased weight, necessitating multiple structural strengthening programs.[66]

General configuration

Jet heavily armed with weapons under wings taking off.

F-16CJ of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFBSouth Carolina, armed with a mix of air-to-air missilesanti-radiation missiles, external fuel tanks and support equipment

The F-16 has a cropped-delta wing incorporating wing-fuselage blending and forebody vortex-control strakes; a fixed-geometry, underslung air intake (with splitter plate[67]) to the single turbofan jet engine; a conventional tri-plane empennage arrangement with all-moving horizontal “stabilator” tailplanes; a pair of ventral fins beneath the fuselage aft of the wing’s trailing edge; and a tricycle landing gear configuration with the aft-retracting, steerable nose gear deploying a short distance behind the inlet lip. There is a boom-style aerial refueling receptacle located behind the single-piece “bubble” canopy of the cockpit. Split-flap speedbrakes are located at the aft end of the wing-body fairing, and a tailhook is mounted underneath the fuselage. A fairing beneath the rudder often houses ECM equipment or a drag chute. Later F-16 models feature a long dorsal fairing along the fuselage’s “spine”, housing additional equipment or fuel.[43][68]

Aerodynamic studies in the 1960s demonstrated that the “vortex lift” phenomenon could be harnessed by highly swept wing configurations to reach higher angles of attack, using leading edgevortex flow off a slender lifting surface. As the F-16 was being optimized for high combat agility, GD’s designers chose a slender cropped-delta wing with a leading edge sweep of 40° and a straight trailing edge. To improve maneuverability, a variable-camber wing with a NACA 64A-204 airfoil was selected; the camber is adjusted by leading-edge and trailing edge flaperons linked to a digital flight control system (FCS) regulating the flight envelope.[43][66] The F-16 has a moderate wing loading, reduced by fuselage lift.[69] The vortex lift effect is increased by leading edge extensions, known as strakes. Strakes act as additional short-span, triangular wings running from the wing root (the juncture with the fuselage) to a point further forward on the fuselage. Blended into the fuselage and along the wing root, the strake generates a high-speed vortex that remains attached to the top of the wing as the angle of attack increases, generating additional lift and allowing greater angles of attack without stalling. Strakes allow a smaller, lower-aspect-ratio wing, which increases roll rates and directional stability while decreasing weight. Deeper wingroots also increase structural strength and internal fuel volume.[66]


Early F-16s could be armed with up to six AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) by employing rail launchers on each wingtip, as well as radar guided AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range AAMs in a weapons mix. More recent versions support the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The aircraft can carry various other AAMs, a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, rockets or bombs; electronic countermeasures (ECM), navigation, targeting or weapons pods; and fuel tanks on 9 hardpoints – six under the wings, two on wingtips, and one under the fuselage. Two other locations under the fuselage are available for sensor or radar pods.[70] The F-16 carries a 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan cannon for close range aerial combat and strafing. The 20mm cannon is mounted inside the fuselage to the left of the cockpit.

Negative stability and fly-by-wire

F-16C of the South Carolina Air National Guard in-flight over North Carolina equipped with air-to-air missiles, bomb rack, targeting pods and Electronic Counter Measures pods

The F-16 is the first production fighter aircraft intentionally designed to be slightly aerodynamically unstable, also known as “relaxed static stability” (RSS), to improve maneuverability.[71] Most aircraft are designed with positive static stability, which induces aircraft to return to straight and level flight attitude if the pilot releases the controls; this reduces maneuverability as the inherent stability has to be overcome. Aircraft with negative stability are designed to deviate from controlled flight and thus be more maneuverable. At supersonic speeds the F-16 gains stability (eventually positive) due to aerodynamic changes.[72][73]

To counter the tendency to depart from controlled flight—and avoid the need for constant trim inputs by the pilot, the F-16 has a quadruplex (four-channel) fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system (FLCS). The flight control computer (FLCC) accepts pilot input from the stick and rudder controls, and manipulates the control surfaces in such a way as to produce the desired result without inducing control loss. The FLCC conducts thousands of measurements per second on the aircraft’s flight attitude to automatically counter deviations from the pilot-set flight path; leading to a common aphorism among pilots: “You don’t fly an F-16; it flies you.”[74]

The FLCC further incorporates limiters governing movement in the three main axes based on attitude, airspeed and angle of attack (AOA); these prevent control surfaces from inducing instability such as slips or skids, or a high AOA inducing a stall. The limiters also prevent maneuvers that would exert more than a 9 g load.[75] Flight testing has revealed that “assaulting” multiple limiters at high AOA and low speed can result in an AOA far exceeding the 25° limit, colloquially referred to as “departing”; this causes a deep stall; a near-freefall at 50° to 60° AOA, either upright or inverted. While at a very high AOA, the aircraft’s attitude is stable but control surfaces are ineffective; the pitch limiter locks the stabilators at an extreme pitch-up or pitch-down attempting to recover, this can be overridden so the pilot can “rock” the nose via pitch control to recover.[76]

Unlike the YF-17, which had hydromechanical controls serving as a backup to the FBW, General Dynamics took the innovative step of eliminating mechanical linkages between the control stick and rudder pedals, and the flight control surfaces. The F-16 is entirely reliant on its electrical systems to relay flight commands, instead of traditional mechanically-linked controls, leading to the early moniker of “the electric jet”. The quadruplex design permits “graceful degradation” in flight control response in that the loss of one channel renders the FLCS a “triplex” system.[77] The FLCC began as an analog system on the A/B variants, but has been supplanted by a digital computer system beginning with the F-16C/D Block 40.[78][79] The F-16’s controls suffered from a sensitivity to static electricity or electrostatic discharge (ESD). Up to 70–80% of the C/D models’ electronics were vulnerable to ESD.[80]

Cockpit and ergonomics

Bubble canopy, allowing all-round visibility

A key feature of the F-16’s cockpit is the exceptional field of view. The single-piece, bird-proof polycarbonate bubble canopy provides 360° all-round visibility, with a 40° look-down angle over the side of the aircraft, and 15° down over the nose (compared to the common 12–13° of preceding aircraft); the pilot’s seat is elevated for this purpose. Furthermore, the F-16’s canopy lacks the forward bow frame found on many fighters, which is an obstruction to a pilot’s forward vision.[43][81] The F-16’s ACES II zero/zero ejection seat is reclined at an unusual tilt-back angle of 30°; most fighters have a tilted seat at 13–15°. The tilted seat can accommodate taller pilots and increases G-force tolerance; however it has been associated with reports of neck ache, possibly caused by incorrect head-rest usage.[82] Subsequent U.S. fighters have adopted more modest tilt-back angles of 20°.[43][83] Due to the seat angle and the canopy’s thickness, the ejection seat lacks canopy-breakers for emergency egress; instead the entire canopy is jettisoned prior to the seat’s rocket firing.[84]

Cramped cockpit of jet trainer, showing dials and instruments

F-16 ground trainer cockpit (F-16 MLU)

The pilot flies primarily by means of an armrest-mounted side-stick controller (instead of a traditional center-mounted stick) and an engine throttle; conventional rudder pedals are also employed. To enhance the pilot’s degree of control of the aircraft during high-g combat maneuvers, various switches and function controls were moved to centralized “hands on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)” controls upon both the controllers and the throttle. Hand pressure on the side-stick controller is transmitted by electrical signals via the FBW system to adjust various flight control surfaces to maneuver the F-16. Originally the side-stick controller was non-moving, but this proved uncomfortable and difficult for pilots to adjust to, sometimes resulting in a tendency to “over-rotate” during takeoffs, so the control stick was given a small amount of “play”. Since introduction on the F-16, HOTAS controls have become a standard feature on modern fighters.[85]

F-16 pilot with Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and cockpit head-up display

The F-16 has a head-up display (HUD), which projects visual flight and combat information in front of the pilot without obstructing the view; being able to keep their head “out of the cockpit” improves a pilot’s situation awareness.[86] Further flight and systems information are displayed on multi-function displays (MFD). The left-hand MFD is the primary flight display (PFD), typically showing radar and moving-maps; the right-hand MFD is the system display (SD), presenting information about the engine, landing gear, slat and flap settings, and fuel and weapons status. Initially, the F-16A/B had monochrome cathode ray tube (CRT) displays; replaced by color liquid-crystal displays on the Block 50/52.[43][87] The MLU introduced compatibility with night-vision goggles (NVG). The Boeing Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) is available from Block 40 onwards, for targeting based on where the pilot’s head faces, unrestricted by the HUD, using high-off-boresight missiles like the AIM-9X.[88]

Fire-control radar

Westinghouse AN/APG-68 radar

The F-16A/B was originally equipped with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 fire-control radar. Its slotted planar array antenna was designed to be compact to fit into the F-16’s relatively small nose. In uplook mode, the APG-66 uses a low pulse-repetition frequency (PRF) for medium- and high-altitude target detection in a low-clutter environment, and in look-down/shoot-down employs a medium PRF for heavy clutter environments. It has four operating frequencies within the X band, and provides four air-to-air and seven air-to-ground operating modes for combat, even at night or in bad weather. The Block 15’s APG-66(V)2 model added a more powerful signal processing, higher output power, improved reliability and increased range in cluttered or jamming environments. The Mid-Life Update (MLU) program introduced a new model, APG-66(V)2A, which features higher speed and more memory.[89]

AN-APG-68, as fitted to the nose

The AN/APG-68, an evolution of the APG-66, was introduced with the F-16C/D Block 25. The APG-68 has greater range and resolution, as well as 25 operating modes, including ground-mapping, Doppler beam-sharpening, ground moving target indication, sea target, and track while scan (TWS) for up to 10 targets. The Block 40/42’s APG-68(V)1 model added full compatibility with Lockheed Martin Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infra-Red for Night (LANTIRN) pods, and a high-PRF pulse-Doppler track mode to provide continuous-wave radar(CW) target illumination for semi-active radar-homing (SARH) missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow. Block 50/52 F-16s initially used the more reliable APG-68(V)5 which has a programmable signal processor employing Very-High-Speed Integrated Circuit (VHSIC) technology. The Advanced Block 50/52 (or 50+/52+) are equipped with the APG-68(V)9 radar, with a 30% greater air-to-air detection range and a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode for high-resolution mapping and target detection-recognition. In August 2004, Northrop Grumman were contracted to upgrade the APG-68 radars of Block 40/42/50/52 aircraft to the (V)10 standard, providing all-weather autonomous detection and targeting for Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided precision weapons, SAR mapping and terrain-following radar (TF) modes, as well as interleaving of all modes.[43]

The F-16E/F is outfitted with Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.[90] Northrop Grumman developed the latest AESA radar upgrade for the F-16 (selected for USAF and Republic of China Air Force F-16 upgrades), named the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR).[91] In July 2007, Raytheon announced that it was developing a Next Generation Radar (RANGR) based on its earlier AN/APG-79 AESA radar as a competitor to Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-68 and AN/APG-80 for the F-16.[43]


Afterburner – concentric ring structure inside the exhaust

The initial powerplant selected for the single-engined F-16 was the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 afterburning turbofan, a modified version of the F-15’s F100-PW-100, rated at 23,830 lbf (106.0 kN) thrust. During testing, the engine was found to be prone to compressor stalls and “rollbacks”, wherein the engine’s thrust would spontaneously reduce to idle. Until resolved, the Air Force ordered F-16s to be operated within “dead-stick landing” distance of its bases.[92] It was the standard F-16 engine through the Block 25, except for the newly-built Block 15s with the Operational Capability Upgrade (OCU). The OCU introduced the 23,770 lbf (105.7 kN) F100-PW-220, later installed on Block 32 and 42 aircraft: the main advance being a Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) unit, which improved reliability and reduced stall occurrence. Beginning production in 1988, the “-220” also supplanted the F-15’s “-100”, for commonality. Many of the “-220” engines on Block 25 and later aircraft were upgraded from 1997 onwards to the “-220E” standard, which enhanced reliability and maintainability; unscheduled engine removals were reduced by 35%.[93][94]

View of a jet engine being pulled out of an F-16

Mechanics removing an engine for maintenance

Adjustable exhaust nozzle in contracted position

The F100-PW-220/220E was the result of the USAF’s Alternate Fighter Engine (AFE) program (colloquially known as “the Great Engine War”), which also saw the entry of General Electric as an F-16 engine provider. Its F110-GE-100 turbofan was limited by the original inlet to thrust of 25,735 lbf (114.5 kN), the Modular Common Inlet Duct allowed the F110 to achieve its maximum thrust of 28,984 lbf (128.9 kN). (To distinguish between aircraft equipped with these two engines and inlets, from the Block 30 series on, blocks ending in “0” (e.g., Block 30) are powered by GE, and blocks ending in “2” (e.g., Block 32) are fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines.)[93][95]

The Increased Performance Engine (IPE) program led to the 29,588 lbf (131.6 kN) F110-GE-129 on the Block 50 and 29,160 lbf (129.4 kN) F100-PW-229 on the Block 52. F-16s began flying with these IPE engines in the early 1990s. Altogether, of the 1,446 F-16C/Ds ordered by the USAF, 556 were fitted with F100-series engines and 890 with F110s.[43] The United Arab Emirates’ Block 60 is powered by the General Electric F110-GE-132 turbofan with a maximum thrust of 32,500 lbf (144.6 kN), the highest thrust engine developed for the F-16.[96][97]

Operational history

F-16s have participated in numerous conflicts, most of them in the Middle East.

United States

Four jets flying right in formation over water. In the foreground are buildings erected on a narrow piece of land, with water on both sides

Wisconsin ANG F-16s over Madison, Wisconsin. The tail of the formation’s lead ship features a special 60th Anniversary scheme for the 115th Fighter Wing.

The F-16 is being used by the active duty USAF, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard units, the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary-aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center.

The U.S. Air Force, including the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, flew the F-16 in combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and in the Balkans later in the 1990s. F-16s also patrolled the no-fly zones in Iraq during Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch and served during the wars in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) from 2001 and 2003 respectively. In 2011, Air Force F-16s took part in the intervention in Libya.[98]

The F-16 had been scheduled to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025.[99] Its replacement was planned to be the F-35A variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which is expected to gradually begin replacing several multi-role aircraft among the program’s member nations. However, due to delays in the F-35 program, all USAF F-16s will receive service life extension upgrades.[100]


Israeli Air Force F-16A Netz 107with 6.5 kill marks of other aircraft and one kill mark of an Iraqi nuclear reactor, a world record for an F-16[101]

Israeli Air Force F-16I Sufa

The F-16’s first air-to-air combat success was achieved by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) over the Bekaa Valley on 28 April 1981, against a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter, which was downed with cannon fire.[102] On 7 June 1981, eight Israeli F-16s, escorted by six F-15s, executed Operation Opera, their first employment in a significant air-to-ground operation. This raid severely damaged Osirak, an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction near Baghdad, to prevent the regime of Saddam Hussein from using the reactor for the creation of nuclear weapons.[103]

The following year, during the 1982 Lebanon War Israeli F-16s engaged Syrian aircraft in one of the largest air battles involving jet aircraft, which began on 9 June and continued for two more days. Israeli Air Force F-16s were credited with 44 air-to-air kills during the conflict.[102][104]

In January 2000, Israel completed a purchase of 102 new F-16I aircraft in a deal totaling $4.5 billion.[105] F-16s were also used in their ground-attack role for strikes against targets in Lebanon. IAF F-16s participated in the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2008–09 Gaza War.[106] During and after the 2006 Lebanon war, IAF F-16s shot down Iranian-made UAVs launched by Hezbollah, using Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missiles.[107][108][109]

On 10 February 2018, an Israeli Air Force F-16I was shot down in northern Israel when it was hit by a relatively old model S-200 (NATO name SA-5 Gammon) surface-to-air missile of the Syrian Air Defense Force.[110] The pilot and navigator ejected safely in Israeli territory. The F-16I was part of a bombing mission against Syrian and Iranian targets around Damascus after an Iranian drone entered Israeli air space and was shot down.[111] An Israel Air Force investigation determined on 27 February 2018 that the loss was due to pilot error since the IAF determined the air crew did not adequately defend themselves.[112]


Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighters

During the Soviet–Afghan War, between May 1986 and January 1989, Pakistan Air Force F-16s shot down at least eight intruders from Afghanistan. The first three of these (two Afghan Su-22s and one An-26) were shot down by two pilots. Pakistani pilots also downed five other intruders (two Su-22s, two MiG-23s, and one Su-25).[113] Most of these kills were by AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, but at least one, an Su-22, was destroyed by cannon fire. Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mahmoud is credited with three of these kills. One F-16 was lost in these battles during an encounter between two F-16s and four Soviet Air Force MiG-23s on 29 April 1987; the pilot ejected safely. The downed F-16 was likely hit accidentally by a Sidewinder fired by the other F-16.[114][115]

On 7 June 2002, a Pakistan Air Force F-16 shot down an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle, the Israeli-made Searcher II, near Lahore.[115]

The Pakistan Air Force has used its F-16s in various foreign and internal military exercises, such as the “Indus Vipers” exercise in 2008 conducted jointly with Turkey.[116]

Between May 2009 and November 2011, the PAF F-16 fleet flew more than 5,500 sorties[needs update] in support of the Pakistan Army‘s operations against the Taliban insurgency in the FATA region of North-West Pakistan. More than 80% of the dropped munitions were laser-guided bombs.[117][118]


Turkish Air Force F-16D

The Turkish Air Force acquired its first F-16s in 1987. Turkish F-16s participated in the Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo since 1993 in support of United Nations resolutions.[119]

On 18 June 1992, a Greek Mirage F-1 crashed during a dogfight with a Turkish F-16.[120][121][122] On 8 February 1995, a Turkish F-16 crashed into the Aegean after being intercepted by Greek Mirage F1 fighters.[123][124]

On 8 October 1996, 7 months after the escalation over Imia a Greek Mirage 2000 reportedly fired an R.550 Magic II missile and shot down a Turkish F-16D[125][126] over the Aegean Sea. The Turkish pilot died, while the co-pilot ejected and was rescued by Greek forces.[122][127][128] In August 2012, after the downing of a RF-4E on the Syrian Coast, Turkish Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz confirmed that the Turkish F-16D was shot down by a Greek Mirage 2000 with an R.550 Magic II in 1996 after violating Greek airspace near Chios island.[129] Greece denies that the F-16 was shot down.[130][131] Both Mirage 2000 pilots reported that the F-16 caught fire and they saw one parachute.[132]

On 23 May 2006, two Greek F-16s intercepted a Turkish RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft and two F-16 escorts off the coast of the Greek island of Karpathos, within the Athens FIR. A mock dogfight ensued between the two sides, resulting in a midair collision[133] between a Turkish F-16 and a Greek F-16. The Turkish pilot ejected safely, but the Greek pilot died due to damage caused by the collision.[134][135] Five days before the incident, a Turkish F-16 pilot was doing dangerous maneuvers, while being intercepted by Greek F-16 fighters, attempting to hit a Greek fighter.[136]

Turkey used its F-16s extensively in its conflict with separatist Kurds in southeastern parts of Turkey and Iraq. Turkey launched its first cross-border raid on 16 December 2007, a prelude to the 2008 Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, involving 50 fighters before Operation Sun. This was the first time Turkey had mounted a night-bombing operation on a massive scale, and also the largest operation conducted by Turkish Air Force.[137]

During the Syrian Civil War, Turkish F-16s were tasked with airspace protection on the Syrian border. After the RF-4 downing in June 2012 Turkey changed its rules of engagements against Syrian aircraft, resulting in scrambles and downings of Syrian combat aircraft.[138] On 16 September 2013, a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-17 helicopter in Latakia province near the Turkish border.[139] On 23 March 2014, a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 when it allegedly entered Turkish air space during a ground attack mission against Al Qaeda-linked insurgents.[140] On 16 May 2015, Two Turkish Air ForceF-16s shot down a Syrian Mohajer 4 UAV firing two AIM-9 missiles after it trespassed into Turkish airspace for 5 minutes.[141][142] A Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 on the Turkey-Syria border on 24 November 2015.[143]


On 16 February 2015, Egyptian F-16s struck jihadi weapons caches and training camps in Libya in retaliation for the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian construction workers by masked militants affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS). The air strikes killed 64 ISIS fighters, including three leaders in Derna and Sirte on the coast.[144]


Iraqi Air Force F-16IQ

The Royal Netherlands Air ForceBelgian Air ForceRoyal Danish Air ForceRoyal Norwegian Air Force, and Venezuela Air Force have flown the F-16 on combat missions.[145][146]

A Yugoslavian MiG-29 was shot down by a Dutch F-16AM during the Kosovo War in 1999.[147] Belgian and Danish F-16s also participated in joint operations over Kosovo during the war.[147] Dutch, Belgian, Danish, and Norwegian F-16s were deployed during the 2011 intervention in Libya and in Afghanistan.[148] In Libya, Norwegian F-16s dropped almost 550 bombs and flew 596 missions,[149] some 17% of the total strike missions[150] including the bombing of Muammar Gaddafi’s headquarters.[151]

The Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Royal Bahraini Air Force, each lost a single F-16C, both shot down by Houthis anti aircraft fire during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, respectively on 11 May 2015 and on 30 December 2015.[152]

In late March 2018, Croatia announced its intention to purchase 12 used Israeli F-16C/D “Barak”/”Brakeet” jets, pending U.S. approval.[153] Acquiring these F-16s would allow Croatia to retire its aging MiG-21s.[154]

On 11 July 2018, Slovakia’s government approved the purchase of 14 F-16s Block 70/72 to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-made MiG-29s.[155] A contract was signed on 12 December 2018 in Bratislava.[citation needed]


Testing of the F-35 diverterless supersonic inlet on an F-16 testbed. The original intake with Splitter plate is shown in the top image

Aircraft carrying missiles on tips of wings during flight over ocean. Under each wing is a cylindrical external fuel tank with pointed nose

Portuguese Air Force F-16A outfitted with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod, and external fuel tanks.

F-16 models are denoted by increasing block numbers to denote upgrades. The blocks cover both single- and two-seat versions. A variety of software, hardware, systems, weapons compatibility, and structural enhancements have been instituted over the years to gradually upgrade production models and retrofit delivered aircraft.

While many F-16s were produced according to these block designs, there have been many other variants with significant changes, usually due to modification programs. Other changes have resulted in role-specialization, such as the close air support and reconnaissance variants. Several models were also developed to test new technology. The F-16 design also inspired the design of other aircraft, which are considered derivatives. Older F-16s are being converted into QF-16 drone targets.[156]

The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initial production variants. These variants include the Block 1, 5, 10 and 20 versions. Block 15 was the first major change to the F-16 with larger horizontal stabilizers. It is the most numerous of all F-16 variants with 475 produced.[157] Many F-16A and B aircraft have been upgraded to the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Block 20 standard, becoming functionally equivalent to mid-production C/D models.[citation needed]

An Israeli F-16I (Block 52) with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), internal/integrated Electronic countermeasures, and other external stores during a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, NV, July 2009

The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with beyond-visual-range(BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 were later C/D versions.[158] The F-16C/D had a unit cost of US$18.8 million (1998).[4] Operational cost per flight hour has been estimated at $7,000[159]to $22,470[160] or $24,000, depending on calculation method.[161]
The F-16E (single seat) and F-16F (two seat) are newer F-16 Block 60 variants based on the F-16C/D Block 50/52. The United Arab Emirates invested heavily in its development. It features improved AN/APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, avionics, conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), and the more powerful General Electric F110-GE-132 engine.[162][163][164]

United Arab Emirates Air Force F-16E Block 60 with the Northrop Grumman IFTS pod, Conformal Fuel Tanks, and various external armament taking off from the Lockheed Martinplant in Fort Worth, Texas.

For the Indian MRCA competition for the Indian Air Force, Lockheed Martin offered the F-16IN Super Viper.[165] The F-16IN is based on the F-16E/F Block 60 and features conformal fuel tanks; AN/APG-80 AESA radar, GE F110-GE-132A engine with FADEC controls; electronic warfare suite and Infra-red search and track (IRST) unit; updated glass cockpit; and a helmet-mounted cueing system.[166] As of 2011, the F-16IN is no longer in the competition.[167] In 2016, Lockheed Martin offered the new F-16 Block 70/72 version to India under the Make in India program.[168][169] In 2016, Indian government offered to purchase 200 (potentially up to 300) fighters in a deal worth $13–15bn.[170] As of 2017, Lockheed Martin has agreed to manufacture F-16 Block 70 fighters in India with the Indian defense firm Tata Advanced Systems Limited. The new production line could be used to build F-16s for India and for exports.[171] On 25 November 2017, Sputnik reported that the Indian government wanted to remove the single–engine criteria and focus on the fighter capabilities instead.[172]
In September 2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed the United States Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 F-16IQ aircraft along with the associated equipment and services to the newly reformed Iraqi Air Force. Total value of sale is estimated at US$4.2 billion.[173]
The F-16N was an adversary aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy. It is based on the standard F-16C/D Block 30 and is powered by the General Electric F110-GE-100 engine, and is capable of supercruise.[174] The F-16N has a strengthened wing and is capable of carrying an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) pod on the starboard wingtip. Although the single-seat F-16Ns and twin-seat (T)F-16Ns are based on the early-production small-inlet Block 30 F-16C/D airframe, they retain the APG-66 radar of the F-16A/B. In addition, the aircraft’s 20 mm cannon has been removed, as has the ASPJ, and they carry no missiles. Their EW fit consists of an ALR-69 radar warning receiver (RWR) and an ALE-40 chaff/flare dispenser. The F-16Ns and (T)F-16Ns have the standard Air Force tailhook and undercarriage and are not aircraft carrier capable. Production totaled 26 airframes, of which 22 are single-seat F-16Ns and four are twin-seat TF-16Ns. The initial batch of aircraft were in service between 1988 and 1998. At that time, hairline cracks were discovered in several bulkheads and the Navy did not have the resources to replace them, so the aircraft were eventually retired, with one aircraft sent to the collection of the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida, and the remainder placed in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB. These aircraft were later replaced by embargoed ex-Pakistani F-16s in 2003. The original inventory of F-16Ns were previously operated by adversary squadrons at NAS Oceana, Virginia; NAS Key West, Florida and the former NAS Miramar, California. The current F-16A/B aircraft are operated by the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada.[175][176][177]

A USAF QF-16A, on its first unmanned test flight, over the Gulf of Mexico

At the 2012 Singapore Air Show Lockheed Martin unveiled plans for the new F-16V variant with the V suffix for its Viper nickname. It features an AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, and various cockpit improvements; this package is an option on current production F-16s and can be retrofitted to most in service F-16s.[178][179] First flight took place 21 October 2015.[180] Lockheed and AIDC both invested in the development of the aircraft and will share revenue from all sales and upgrades.[181] Upgrades to Taiwan’s F-16 fleet began in January 2017.[182] The first country to confirm the purchase of 16 new F-16V Block 70/72 was Bahrain.[183][184] Slovakia announced on 11 July 2018 that it intends to purchase 14 F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft.[185][186] Lockheed Martin has redesignated the F-16V Block 70 as the “F-21” in its offering for India’s fighter requirement.[187] Taiwan’s Republic of China Air Force announced on 19 March 2019 that it formally requested the purchase of an additional 66 F-16V jets.[188] The sale was approved by the Trump administration on August 15, 2019.[189]
In September 2013, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force tested an unmanned F-16, with two US Air Force pilots controlling the airplane from the ground as it flew from Tyndall AFB over the Gulf of Mexico.[190][191][192]

Related developments

Vought Model 1600
Proposed naval variant
General Dynamics F-16 VISTA
1990s experimental fighter
General Dynamics F-16XL
1980s technology demonstrator
Mitsubishi F-2
1990s Japanese multi-role fighter based on the F-16


Map with F-16 operators in blue with former operators in red

F-16C block 52 of the Hellenic Air Force with conformal fuel tanks and Advanced IFF (AIFF)

By July 2010 there had been 4,500 F-16s delivered.[193]

Former operators

Notable accidents and incidents

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot ejects from the F-16 just before impact at an air show in September 2003.

The F-16 has been involved in over 650 hull-loss accidents as of June 2016.[195][196]

  • On 8 May 1975, while practicing a 9-g aerial display maneuver with the second YF-16 (tail number 72-1568) at Fort Worth, Texas, prior to being sent to the Paris Air Show, one of the main landing gears jammed. The test pilot, Neil Anderson, had to perform an emergency gear-up landing and chose to do so in the grass, hoping to minimize damage and to avoid injuring any observers. The aircraft was only slightly damaged, but due to the mishap the first prototype was sent to the Paris Air Show in its place.[197]
  • On 15 November 1982, while on a training flight outside Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, USAF Captain Ted Harduvel died when he crashed inverted into a mountain ridge. In 1985, Harduvel’s widow filed a lawsuit against General Dynamics claiming an electrical malfunction, not pilot error, as the cause; a jury awarded the plaintiff $3.4 million in damages. However, in 1989, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the contractor had immunity to lawsuits, overturning the previous judgment. The court remanded the case to the trial court “for entry of judgment in favor of General Dynamics.”[198]The accident and subsequent trial was the subject of the 1992 film Afterburn.[199][200]
  • On 23 March 1994, during a joint Army-Air Force exercise at Pope AFB, North Carolina, F-16D (AF Serial No. 88-0171) of the 23d Fighter Wing / 74th Fighter Squadron was simulating an engine-out approach when it collided with a USAF C-130E. Both F-16 crew members ejected, but their aircraft, on full afterburner, continued on an arc towards Green Ramp and struck a USAF C-141 that was being boarded by US Army paratroopers. This accident resulted in 24 fatalities and at least 100 others injured.[201] It has since been known as the “Green Ramp disaster“.[202]
  • On 15 September 2003, a USAF Thunderbird F-16C crashed during an air show at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Captain Christopher Stricklin attempted a “Split S” maneuver based on an incorrect mean-sea-level altitude of the airfield. Climbing to only 1,670 ft (510 m) above ground level instead of 2,500 ft (760 m), Stricklin had insufficient altitude to complete the maneuver, but was able to guide the aircraft away from spectators and ejected less than one second before impact. Stricklin survived with only minor injuries; the aircraft was destroyed. USAF procedure for demonstration “Split-S” maneuvers was changed, requiring both pilots and controllers to use above-ground-level (AGL) altitudes.[203][204]
  • On 26 January 2015, a Greek F-16D crashed while performing a NATO training exercise in Albacete, Spain. Both crew members and nine French soldiers on the ground died when it crashed in the flight-line, destroying or damaging two Italian AMXs, two French Alpha jets, and one French Mirage 2000.[205][206]
  • On 7 July 2015, an F-16CJ collided with a Cessna 150M over Moncks Corner, South Carolina, U.S. The pilot of the F-16 ejected safely, but both people in the Cessna were killed.[207]
  • On 17 May 2019, a F-16 crashed into a warehouse near March Air Reserve Base in Perris, California. The pilot ejected before impact. A small fire broke out but was quickly suppressed.[208]

Aircraft on display











The Netherlands

  • J-215 of the RNLAF on display at the National Military museum at former airbase Soesterberg.[215]
  • J-228 of the RNLAF on pylon display at the Leeuwarden Airbase Main Gate entry road.[216]
  • J-240 of the RNLAF on pylon display past the Volkel Airbase Main Gate on the entry road.[217]
  • J-246 of the RNLAF on pylon display on the N264 / Zeelandsedijk roundabout near the Volkel Airbase Main Gate entry.[218]





United States

The YF-16B at the Frontiers of Flight Museum

F-16A display at the Museum of AviationRobins AFB

An F-16B on display at the Aviation Challenge campus of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL; dorsal fin has an acknowledgment to Tuskegee Airmen.

YF-16A (Full-Scale Development)
YF-16B (FSD)

Specifications (F-16C Block 50)


View of underside of F-16 during a vertical climb

Weapons Storage and Security System vault in raised position holding a B61 nuclear bomb, adjacent to an F-16. The vault is within a Protective Aircraft Shelter.

Data from USAF sheet,[4] International Directory of Military Aircraft[71]

General characteristics

  • Length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.9 m)
  • Wing area: 300 sq ft (28 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A204[282]
  • Empty weight: 18,900 lb (8,573 kg)
  • Gross weight: 26,500 lb (12,020 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 42,300 lb (19,187 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) internals[4]
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F110-GE-129 afterburning turbofan engine, 17,155 lbf (76.31 kN) thrust 29,588 lbf (132 kN) wet

1x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 / 220E 29,160 lbf (130 kN) wet


  • Maximum speed: 795 kn (915 mph; 1,472 km/h) (M1.2) at sea level[71]
1,147 kn (1,320 mph; 2,124 km/h) (M2.0), clean configuration at altitude[4]
  • Combat range: 295 nmi (339 mi; 546 km) on a hi-lo-hi mission with 4x 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs
  • Ferry range: 2,277 nmi (2,620 mi; 4,217 km) with drop-tanks
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m) plus
  • g limits: +9 (limited by Flying control system)
  • Rate of climb: 50,000 ft/min (250 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 88.3 lb/sq ft (431 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 1.095 (1.24 with loaded weight & 50% internal fuel)[283]



Notable appearances in media

See also

References …

Story 3: North Korea Fires Two More Missiles and Advances Missile Technology with Tests — Videos 

See the source image

North Korea fires two more ‘nightmare’ missiles into the sea as expert warns of Kim’s ‘serious and impressive’ advancements in rocket power with latest tests

  • Two more missiles launched into the sea off North Korean coast in latest launch 
  • South Korean military claims the projectiles were launched from the North side
  • Rockets are sixth round since last month as Kim issues US a ‘solemn warning’
  • Experts warned Kim was making advances in missile technology with the tests 

North Korea fired two ‘unidentified projectiles’ into the sea today – the latest in a series of such launches by Pyongyang.

The South Korean military said the projectiles were fired from near the city of Tongchon of Kangwon Province into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

It was the sixth round of launches since last month, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un labelling them a ‘solemn warning’ over US-South Korean joint military drills that began earlier this month.

North Korea has always been infuriated by the war games, decrying them as rehearsals for invasion.

South Korea’s military said today that North Korea fired more projectiles into the sea to extend a recent streak of weapons tests believed to be aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear diplomacy.

Kim Jong-un watching a missile launch during a test last month. North Korea has sent up rockets on six different occasions since the start of July

A short-range ballistic missile launch from the east coast of North Korea can be seen pictured (above) last week

A short-range ballistic missile launch from the east coast of North Korea can be seen pictured (above) last week

Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea said projectiles were twice launched from an area on the North’s eastern coast.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t immediately say what the weapons were, how many were launched or how far they flew.

‘The military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture,’ the JCS said.

North Korea has conducted a slew of short-range ballistic tests in recent weeks while expressing frustration over stalemated nuclear negotiations with the United States and continuance of US-South Korea joint military drills that the North sees as an invasion rehearsal.

Earlier on Friday, the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country released a statement saying it rejected comments by South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday that outlined his desire for unification, and said it had nothing else to discuss with South Korean authorities.

In a speech marking the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 rule, Moon outlined a goal of ‘achieving peace and unification by 2045’, although his single five-year term presidency ends in 2022.

President Donald Trump dismissed North Korea's missile test. He is pictured mocking former vice president Joe Biden at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, last night

Visual timeline of North Korea’s missile programme

The North’s statement blamed the South for the deadlock of the ‘historic Panmunjom declaration’, adding: ‘We have nothing to talk any more with the south Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again.’

The Joint Chiefs of Staff alerted reporters to the launches hours after the North issued a statement berating South Korea, saying it’s ‘senseless’ for Seoul to hope for a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue while it continues its military exercises with the United States.

Experts say President Donald Trump’s downplaying of the North’s launches allowed the country more room to intensify its testing activity while it seeks to build leverage ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations, which could happen sometime after the end of the allied drills later this month.

Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT said the missiles posed a ‘nightmare’ for Washington.

He told the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘The three missiles have several things in common: they are solid fuel, they are mobile, they are fast, they fly low, and at least the KN-23 can manoeuvre in-flight, which is very impressive.


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