F-16A Air Defence Fighter

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Federico Anselmino
Other Publication Information
124 color photographs, 13 reproductions of patches, 11 documents, and 6 profiles. Text in English and Italian
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

Federico Anselmino is the author of several books dealing with modern Italian Air Force aircraft.

Introduction - Page 1

The F-16 was chosen by the Italian Air Force as a "gap filler" until the F-2000 Typhoon became available as a replacement for the aging Fleet of F-104 Starfighters. Initially a lease was signed to acquire 20 single seat Tornado F.3 and four F.3T Tornados to supplement 60 F-104S/ASA.. This decision was motivated by logistical, economical and political reasons. Although a superior aircraft to the F-104 the Tornado was a more costly aircraft to fly and maintain. In order to conserve funds the Itialian Air force ended the contract with the RAF and chose the F-16 "Fighting Falcon; ADF to protect Italian skies.

The ownership of the F-16's flown by the Italian Air Force was retained by the United States and would be returned after 45,000 flying hours was achieved. Lockhead -Martin and Pratt and Whitney would provide technical and logistics support for the aircraft frames and engine operations with their Italian counterparts.

The F-16A ADF were originally flown by various National Guard units in the US and were being phased out with replacement by the up-graded C and B versions. The A version would be sent to Davis-Monthan AFB for storage and preservation. These are the aircraft eventually provided to the Italian Air Force on an interim basis.

Origins and Development - Page 2

This section offers a lengthy description of the F-16's origin and development. Several images of the red, white and blue prototype aircraft are included. Page 5 includes an in-flight image of the YF-16 and competitor YF-17.

Peace Ceasar Program - Page 13 (Should be page 9)

This program title was assigned to the storing, protecting and preserving aircraft at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. This section includes several images of Italian F-16's in flight, on the flight line and some in formation with F-104's.

In Service with the Italian Air Force - Page 43 (Should be page 15)

This section covers the training and transition activities for the pilots and maintenance crews and goes into extensive detail on the numbers of aircraft, air bases and crews involved.

For the scale modelers that are fans of panel line washes the photo on the bottom of page 34 has a real life example of panel washes. This is a striking view of an Italian F-16 taking off in full afterburner.

This section also includes some nice photos of F-16's in colorful paint schemes celebrating various events and anniversaries.

Tornado at War - Page 40 (should be F-16 at war page 52)

The Italian Air Force supplied four F-16's and four Tornados as part of the United Nations Safety Council Resolution Number 1070 and 1073. Operations against the Kaddafi regime began on March 10, 2011 and concluded on October 31. Italian Air Force aircraft flew in several support missions, flying escort roles for Tornados during deep pentration raids to identify and destroy Libyan air defense systems. Italian Vipers also provide escort for tankers and AWACS. In the end official Italian Air Force statements affirmed that F-16 weaponry was not used on any target.

Modelers Notes - Page 58 (should be page 56)

This section covers the construction and painting of the 1/72nd scale Italeri F-16, kit No. 1271. The translation of the build leaves something to be desired.

Modeling Details - Page 62

Several nice close-up images of exterior details are included on these two pages.

Technical Data - Weaponry - Serials - Page 64

This section is just what it says and is addressed on a single page.

Bibliography - Back cover page inside

The bibliography section offers a list of periodicals, books and Internet sources. All are a bit dated.


This book was originally published in November of 2011, with the reprint issued in October 2019. All of the photography included are color images, and most are not as "sharp: as found in other current publications. In several instances the images are quite small and offer little detail, whereas the close-up images will be appealing to the scale modeler.

The centerfold section offers six left side profiles of F-16's, three single-seaters and three two-seat aircraft.

I did find the font used a bit difficult to read, and some of the editing leaves something to be desired. The language translation offered some interesting word use and interpretations.

I wish to thank Casemate Publications and IMS/USA for the opportunity to review this publication. Recommended for those wishing to model F-16's of the Italian Air Force.


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