In the first quarter of 2018 (January – April) duty on Baltic Air Policing was performed by F-16 fighters belonging to the Royal Danish Air Force, which were stationed at the Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania. In January, Danish pilots replaced US Air Force pilots (Block 45 rotation), and after them on duty were Portugal and Spain (Block 47). During their rotation, the Danes performed the so-called the role of “leading nation” with four F-16 fighters in the MLU version, supported by the Italian Air Force (based in Amari in Estonia) as the so-called “Augmenting nation” with four Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. During this rotation, the Danes were present at the BAP mission for the sixth time – earlier they participated there in 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014.
The Danish F-16 version of MLU, which was located in Lithuania, was purchased in the 1980s as part of the EPAF program, which assumed the acquisition of fighters for Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium. Currently, all fighters in Denmark are based in the Aviation Fighter Wing at the Skydstrup base with a total number of 44.
In addition to the typical modifications characteristic of the MLU version and software updates, the Danish F-16s are equipped with an additional reflector on the nose, which allows them to highlight the captured object at night. This solution is especially useful for pilots in the winter, when the days are short, so many operations take place at night. It is also worth mentioning about additional PIDS pylons, which are located under the wings on the 3rd and 7th rails – this is part of the additional defense system with very sensitive sensors and ejectors of additional systems.
During QRA flights, the F-16s have “standard” equipment, which consists of two AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles and two AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Typically, the machines fly using two additional fuel tanks, which allows them for approx. 2 hours of flight. Speaking of flights and the work system, it is worth mentioning that the Danes work in a slightly different system than other countries – soldiers and pilots spend significantly less time on the mission (6-8 weeks), while other contingents send soldiers for 16 weeks. This solution allows them to train more people in an international environment during one mission.
Thanks to cooperation with the Lithuanian Air Force and the Danish Air Force, we have carried out an Air-to-Air photo session with these aircraft, the effects are presented in the gallery below.
Our technical partners during photoshoot were: