Jordan Vipers step it up

Jordan F-16s have destroyed 56 Islamic State (ISIS) targets over the last three days, the Jordan government in Amman stated on 8 February. The stepped up effort is a response to the brutal execution of the Jordan F-16 pilot captured by ISIS last December. On the same day,  US foreign minister John Kerry said the international coalition has significantly forced back ISIS.

Along with actual bombardments, the Jordan authorities have also stepped up propaganda effort, with lots of footage of bombs being loaded and airstrikes being carried out, showing up on YouTube. The Jordanians are now responsible for 20 percent of all air strikes against ISIS. Weapons depots and hide outs have been destroyed, according to Amman.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) has several dozen Lockheed Martin F-16s in use, mostly of the F-16AM and BM versions. The first contract for 16 aircraft was signed in 1996, with deliveries starting in 1997. All are ex US, Belgian or Dutch aircraft, with 15 more former Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) aircraft on the way.

In turn, Jordan sold twelve F-16AM and one F-16BM to Pakistan last year. First deliveries of those aircraft began last year.

© 2015 editor Elmer van Hest

A peak into the cockpitof a Jordanian F-16. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
A peak into the cockpit of a Jordanian F-16. (Image © Elmer van Hest)