US Air Force Fighters

By 1994 the USAF had almost slimed its front line fighter inventory down to two basic airframes, the F-15 Eagle and Strike Eagle, and the F-16 Falcon. In Northern Fury however, there were three squadrons of updated F-4E Phantoms in the Air National Guard (ANG).

F-15A/C Eagle: The F-15 is an all weather, highly maneuverable air superiority fighter. Arguably the best air superiority aircraft in the world, none have been lost in air combat. In 1994 there are two basic variations on the Eagle, the F-15A which is limited to the original suite of weapons that were developed for the aircraft in the early '70s, and the F-15C which is able to use a much more modern Aim-120 AMRAAM air to air missile. It should be noted that the twin seat trainer versions are the 'B' and the 'D' models and each squadron has two or three of these for continuation and certification training. The link above has many more details as does the wiki and many other pages. By the beginning of Northern Fury all F-15A are in the ANG, while the regular air force is equipped with the F-15C. All of the F-15C on active service have undergone the MSIP (Multistage Improvement Program) upgrade with one exception, the 57th Fighter Squadron (FS) stationed at Keflavik Iceland. Northern Fury uses the same number of airframes that were originally produced, however in the real world the squadron size had been reduced to 18 aircraft, a couple squadrons had been deactivated and about 100 older F-15A had been written off. The chart below gives a comparison of where the aircraft were in real life and where they are in Northern Fury :

Northern FuryReal History
F-15A/B F-15C/D F-15A/B F-15C/D
Production 412 470 412 470
W/O 51 23 51 23
Scrapped 100 225 22
Storage 30 14 100
Other 20 2 20 10
ATEC 36 12 12 48
AF Mat C 7 7 15
ANG 168 90
ACC 192 126
USAFE 90 36
PacAF 144 90
Total 412 470 412 470

Squadron distribution in Northern Fury remains relatively consistent with history but two regular Squadrons due to deactivate in 1994 (32nd FS and 43rd FS) are not planning to do so, and one additional ANG Squadron is in the mix due to the shortage of F-16s (112th FS). One other minor change is that Bitburg AB in Germany did not close so the 53rd FS remained there instead of moving to Spangdahlem AB. The most substantive change is the retention of 24 aircraft per squadron vice the historic reduction to 18; the exception is 57th FS which had never been at 24. Squadron dispositions are listed below:

SquadronNameWingLocation# of ACTypeRemarks
1 FS Fighting Furies 325th Tyndall AFB, FL 24 F-15A/C ATEC
2 FS American Beagles 325th Tyndall AFB, FL 24 F-15A ATEC
12 FS Dirty Dozen 3rd Elmendorf AFB, AL 24 F-15C PacAF
19 FS Fighting Gamecocks3rd Hickam Field, HI 24 F-15C PacAF
27 FS Fighting Eagles 1st Langley AFB, VA 24 F-15C ACC
32 FS Wolfhounds 32nd Soesterberg AB, Ger 24 F-15C USAFE
43 FS American Hornets 3rd Elmendorf AFB, AL 24 F-15C PacAF
44 FS Vampires 18th Kadena AB, Japan 24 F-15C PacAF
53 FS Tigers 32nd Bitburg AB, Ger 24 F-15C USAFE
54 FS Leopards 3rd Elmendorf AFB, AL 24 F-15C PacAF
57 FS Black Knights 35th Keflavik AFB, Iceland 18 F-15C Not MSIP
58 FS Gorillas 33rd Eglin AFB, FL 24 F-15C ACC
59 FS Golden Pride 33rd Eglin AFB, FL 24 F-15C ACC
60 FS Fighting Crows 33rd Eglin AFB, FL 24 F-15C ACC
67 FS Fighting Cocks 18th Kadena AB, Japan 24 F-15C PacAF
71 FS Iron Men 1st Langley AFB, VA 24 F-15C ACC
94 FS Hat in the Ring 1st Langley AFB, VA 24 F-15C ACC
95 FS Boneheads 325th Tyndall AFB, FL 24 F-15C ACC
101 FS Tigers 102nd Otis, MA 24 F-15A ANG
110 FS Lindbergh's Own 131st Whiteman AFB, MI 24 F-15A ANG/NORAD
112 FS Stingers 180th Toledo, OH 24 F-15A ANG
123 FS Redhawks 142nd Portland, OR 24 F-15A ANG/NORAD
128 FS Wildcats 116th Dobbins, GA 24 F-15A ANG/NORAD
199 FS Mai Tai's 154th Hickam Field, HI 24 F-15A ANG/PacAF
390 FS Wild Boars 366th Mtn Home AFB, ID 24 F-15A ACC
461st FS Deadly Jesters 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-15A ATEC
493 FS Grim Reapers 48th Lakenheath AB, UK 24 F-15A USAFE

F-15E Strike Eagle: The unquestionable success of the F-15 as an air-to-air platform predictably led to a derivative able to conduct air-to-ground missions. The F-15E Strike Eagle can do everything that the F-15C can do, but is optimally configured for a deep strike into enemy territory using terrain following radar and precision munitions. It has a powerful integrated electronic countermeasures (ECM) system, conformal fuel tanks for added range and plenty of weapon stations. Historically production trickled off in '92 to just 3 aircraft but at its peak in '87 and '88, and again 1991, 42 aircraft were produced. Northern Fury has this production maintained through '89 and '90 (an increase from 35 each year) and continuing into '93. Overall increasing the production by 100 aircraft. Factoring in attrition there are now 301 Strike eagles available which translates to one additional wing (6th Tactical Fighter Wing at Mountain Home AFB, ID) and the continuation of 550th FS as the conversion training unit into mid 1994.

SquadronNameWingLocation# of ACTypeRemarks
90 FS Pair-O-Dice 3rd Elmsdorf AFB, AL 24 F-15E PacAF
333 FS Lancers 4th Seymore Johnson AFB, NC 24 F-15E
334 FS Fighting Eagles 4th Seymore Johnson AFB, NC 24 F-15E
335 FS Chiefs 4th Seymore Johnson AFB, NC 24 F-15E
336 FS Rocketeers 4th Seymore Johnson AFB, NC 24 F-15E
391 FS Bold Tigers 366th Mountain Home AFB, NC 24 F-15E
329 FS Scorpions 6th Mountain Home AFB, NC 24 F-15E New Wing
330 FS Desert Hawks 6th Mountain Home AFB, NC 24 F-15E New Wing
331 FS Rapiers 6th Mountain Home AFB, NC 24 F-15E New Wing
492 FS Madhatters 48th Lakenheath AB, UK 24 F-15E USAFE
494 FS Panthers 48th Lakenheath AB, UK 24 F-15E USAFE
550 FS Silver Eagles 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-15E Deactivating

F-16 Falcon: The F-16 is the most numerous and versatile fighter in the USAF inventory. First entering service in 1978, there are numerous variations to the basic airframe, the details can be found at this site. In general terms variants were produced in 'Block' numbered groups indicating major upgrades. Historically the late '80s and early '90s saw a massive downsizing and sell-off of this ubiquitous and versatile fighter. Many went to the Air Guard, many went into long term preservation and yet more were sold to allies. In Northern Fury the 1988 level of production (180/year) was maintained right through 1993 and is planned to continue for at least 3 more years. Factoring in a slightly higher level of attrition, this production results in an additional 442 airframes being available, most at the Block 40/42 and 50/52 standard. Combined with retaining some older aircraft in the Air Guard, not retiring the F-16ADF, and canceling several foreign sales a net increase of 15x F-16 Squadrons is available. The aircraft in use by the USAF in Northern fury are:

  • F-16A - Over 800 of these were built from 1978 through 1983, in the mid '80s about 520 were converted to the 'Air Defence Fighter' (ADF) version for NORAD and the remainder were shunted to secondary roles or preserved. One squadron used for training ANG pilots is still equipped with these aircraft, 40 more are undergoing refit to ADF and about 150 are in storage.
  • F-16ADF - these are upgraded to 'A' model Block 15 standard, and specially optimized for the US ANG intercept mission for NORAD. These are the only US F-16s that fire the Aim-7 Sparrow missile. About 520 were modified for this role, which due to the shortage of new aircraft was about 250 more than historically exited, and more are being converted.
  • F-16C/D Block 25 - This was the earliest version of the 'C' model and had a better radar, a glass cockpit, improved fire control computer and many other improvements. Fundamentally this looked like the 'A' model but was able to fire the much more capable Aim-120 AMRAAM and AGM-65 Maverick. With 280 (vice 244 in real history) of this Block produced it is resident in three ANG Squadrons, three training Squadrons and one European based regular squadron. This leave 33 in storage after 49 have been written off through accidents and other losses.
  • F-16C/D Block 30/32 - There are two main upgrades in this block, first and foremost is the 'common engine bay' and two improved engines. The General Electric F110 (Block 30) which equips 75% of the production run and the Prat & Whitney F100 (Block 32). The later Block 30s have a larger engine intake, commonly called the 'Big Mouth'. The second major improvement is better target processing. All were later retrofitted with a LANTERN Pod for terrain following and targeting and the ability to engage targets with HARM missiles. Northern Fury only increases this version by 20 airframes bringing the available number to 489 minus the 49 which were written off. No ANG squadrons have yet received this aircraft which equips 11 regular squadrons, one of them a training squadron. About 100 of these machines are in storage.
  • F-16C/D Block 40/42 - This version has a fully integrated LANTERN Pod giving the aircraft full day/night capabilities. Also improved were the ECM systems and cockpit controls. The first major production year was 1988 and the increase in Northern Fury production takes holed in 1989, so production of this version is 760 vice the historic 454. After removing 53 for crashes and accidents, a total of 25 squadrons including three training squadrons are equipped with this aircraft.
  • F-16C/D Block 50/52 - The last version equipping the USAF in Northern Fury has improved engines, avionics, radar and ECM. These aircraft are destined to replace the Wild Weasel in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) role. Production began in late 1991 and continues at an increased pace. By the start of Northern Fury there are 304 available after removing 33 due to attrition. There are none in the training system but 11 front line squadrons are equipped with this version.
SquadronNameWingLocation# of ACTypeRemarks
4 FS Fightin' Fuujins 388th Hill AFB, UT 24 F-16C Blk 40
10 FS Fighting Tenth 50th Hahn AFB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
13 FS The Panther Pack 35th Misawa AB, Japan 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 PacAF
14 FS Samurais 35th Misawa AB, Japan 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 PacAF
17 FS Hooters 363rdShaw AFB, SC 24 F-16C Blk 42
18 FS Blue Foxes 354th Eielson AFB, AL 24 F-16C Blk 40 PacAF
22 FS Stingers 36th Bitburg AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
23 FS Fighting Hawks 52nd Spangdahlem AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
33 FS Falcons 363rdShaw AFB, SC 24 F-16C Blk 42
34 FS Rams 388th Hill AFB, UT 24 F-16C Blk 40
35 FS Panton 8th Kunsan AB, S Korea 24 F-16C Blk 30 PacAF
36 FS Flying Fiends 51st Osan AB, S Korea 24 F-16C Blk 42 PacAF
61 FS Top Dawgs 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 25 ATEC
62 FS Spikes 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 25 ATEC
63 FS Panthers 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 25 ATEC
68 FS Lightning Lancers 81st RAF Alconbury, UK 24 F-16C Blk 40 USAFE
69 FS Werewolves 81st RAF Alconbury, UK 24 F-16C Blk 40 USAFE
70 FS White Knights 347thMoody AFB, GA 24 F-16C Blk 42
72 FS Falcons 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 30 ATEC
74 FS Flying Tigers 23rd Kunsan AB, S Korea 24 F-16C Blk 30 PacAF
80 FS Headhunters 8th Kunsan AB, S Korea 24 F-16C Blk 40 PacAF
89 FS Rhino's 906thWright Patterson, OH 24 F-16C Blk 40
93 FS Makos 482ndMacDill AFB, FL 24 F-16C Blk 32 AF Reserve
107 FS Red Devils 127th Selfridge, MI 18 F-16ADF ANG
111 FS Ace in the Hole 147thHuston, TX 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
114 FS Eager Beavers 142ndPortland, OR 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
119 FS Jersey Devils 177thAtlantic Cty, NJ 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
120 FS Colorado Cougars 140th Buckley, CO 24 F-16CJ Blk 25 ANG
121 FS Capital Guardians 113thAndrews AFB, ML 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
124 FS Hawkeyes 132nd Des Moines, IO 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
125 FS Tulsa Vipers 138th Tulsa, OK 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
127 FS Dragons 184thMcConnell AFB, KS 18 F-16ADF ANG
134 FS The Green Mountain Boys 158thBurlington, VT 18 F-16ADF ANG
136 FS New York's Finest 107thNiagara, NY 18 F-16ADF ANG
149 FS Gen'men from Richmond 192ndLangley, VA 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
152 FS Warhawks 162nd Tucson, AZ 24 F-16A ANG/ATEC
157 FS Swamp Fox 169thColumbia, SC 18 F-16ADF ANG
159 FS Boxin' Gators 125thJacksonville, FL 18 F-16ADF ANG
160 FS Snakes 187th Montgomery, AL 18 F-16ADF ANG
161 FS Jayhawks 184th McConnell AFB, KS 24 F-16C Blk 52 ANG
162 FS Sabers 178th Springfield, OH 24 F-16C Blk 25 ANG
169 FS Marksmen 182nd Peoria, IL 18 F-16ADF ANG
170 FS Fighting Illini 183rdSpringfield, IL 18 F-16ADF ANG
171 FS Michigan Six Pack 191st Selfridge, MI 18 F-16ADF ANG
174 FS The Bats 184th Sioux City, IO 18 F-16ADF ANG
175 FS Fightin' Lobos 114th Sioux Falls, SD 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
176 FS Badger Air Militia 128th Truax Field, WI 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
177 FS Jayhawkers 184th McConnell AFB, KS 24 F-16CJ Blk 25 ANG
178 FS Happy Hooligans 119thFargo, ND 18 F-16ADF ANG
179 FS Bulldogs 148th Duluth, MN 18 F-16ADF ANG
182 FS Lonestar Gunfighters 149th San Antonio, TX 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
184 FS Flying Razorbacks 188thFort Smith, AR 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
186 FS Charlie Chickens 122nd Great Falls, MN 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
188 FS Enchilada Air Force 150thAlbuquerque, NM 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
194 FS Griffins 144th Fresno, CA 18 F-16ADF ANG, NORAD
198 FS Bucaneros 156thCarolina, PR 18 F-16ADF ANG
302 FS Sun Devils 944th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16CJ Blk 52
306 FS The Gunners 31st Aviano AB, Italy 24 F-16C Blk 40 USAFE
307 FS Stingers 347th Moody AFB, GA 24 F-16C Blk 40 16 a/c in P Gulf
308 FS Emerald Knight 347th Moody AFB, GA 24 F-16C Blk 40
309 FS Wild Ducks 363rd Shaw AFB, SC 24 F-16C Blk 40
310 FS Tophats 56th Luke AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 42 ATEC
311 FS Sidewinders 58th Holloman AFB, NM 24 F-16C Blk 42 ATEC
313 FS Lucky Puppies 50th Hahn AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
314 FS Warhawks 58th Holloman AFB, NM 24 F-16C Blk 42 ATEC
389 FS Thunderbolts 366th Mtn Home AFB, ID 24 F-16CJ Blk 50
414 FS Agressors 57th Nellis AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 32
421 FS Black Widows 388th Hill AFB, UT 24 F-16C Blk 40
425 FS Black Widows 58th Holloman AFB, NM 24 F-16A ATEC
457 FS Spads 301stCarswell AFB, TX 24 F-16C Blk 30 AF Reserve
465 FS Okies 507thTinker AFB, FL 24 F-16C Blk 40
466 FS Diamondbacks 419th Hill AFB, UT 24 F-16C Blk 30 AF Reserve
480 FS Warhawks 52nd Spangdahlem AB, Ger 24 F-16C Blk 30 USAFE
496 FS The World's Finest 50th Hahn AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
512 FS Dragons 86th Ramstein AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
526 FS Black Knights 86th Ramstein AB, Ger 24 F-16CJ Blk 50 USAFE
527 FS Agressors 81st RAF Alconbury, UK 24 F-16C Blk 30 USAFE
555 FS Triple Nickel 31st Aviano AB, Italy 24 F-16CJ Blk 25
612 FS Fighting 612th 401st Nellis AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 40
613 FS Squids 401st Nellis AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 40
614 FS Lucky Devils 401st Nellis AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 40
704 FS Outlaws 924thBergstrom AFB, TX 24 F-16C Blk 30 AF Reserve
706 FS Cajuns 926th NAS New Orleans 24 F-16C Blk 30 AF Reserve
Demo Thunderbirds 57th Nellis AFB, AZ 24 F-16C Blk 32 Air Demo Tm

F-4E Phantom: Although this venerable fighter served well into the late '90s in the Wild Weasel and Reconnaissance roles, the pure fighter version within the USAF was supposed to retire in 1992. The shortage of F-16s caused by the retention of squadrons in Europe has meant that in Northern Fury there are still some F-4Es remaining in the Air National Guard. About 100 F-4Es were converted to carry a wider range of ordinance, including Laser Guided Paveway II bombs, they are still capable of conducing Air-to-Air combat but they are heavily outclassed by the latest Soviet fighters. Three ANG squadrons retain the Phantom which will likely serve into 1996 before there are enough F-16s available to retire them. Additionally, a squadron of this type operated by ATEC trains German Luftwaffe crews.

SquadronNameWingLocation# of ACTypeRemarks
20 FS Silver Lobos 49th Holloman AFB, NM 24 F-4E ATEC
113 FSRacers 181st Hulman, IN 24 F-4E ANG
138 FSBoys from Syracuse 181st Syracuse, NY 24 F-4E ANG
163 FSBlacksnakes 181st Fort Wayne, IN 24 F-4E ANG