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Prestige and the F-16

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This article, about Pakistan’s preference for F-16s is pretty interesting:

Pakistanis are fascinated, if not obsessed, with F-16 fighter jets.

It is the best fighting aircraft in the fleet of the Pakistan air force, allowed to be flown by only the country’s best pilots. Video of F-16 fighter aircraft roaring through the skies figures prominently in the air force’s inspirational anthems…

Ironically, those who oppose American policies towards the country, including drone strikes, also welcomed the induction of American-manufactured fighter aircraft.

Zaid Hamid, a self-styled defense analyst known more for his conspiratorial and sensational commentaries regarding American influence in Pakistan, praised the delivery of the aircraft in a newsletter as “Alhamdulillah (thanks to Allah), another technological milestone achieved by Pakistan air force.”

I’m curious about the preference for the F-16 over other fighter aircraft.  In Pakistan this makes some sense, as the F-16 is superior to the various French and Chinese aircraft that fill out of the rest of the air force inventory.   However, if you’ve ever visited Israel, you might have noticed that there are more pictures of F-16s than F-15s or any other aircraft, in spite of the generally recognized superiority of the F-15. In the United States, for whatever reason, I tend to see and hear more about the F-15.

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