The F-16 Fighting Falcon was produced by General Dynamics who became Lockheed who then merged with Martin Marietta to become Lockheed Martin. The F-16 entered service in January 1979 as a multi-role jet fighter that evolved into an all-weather multi-role aircraft capable of sustaining 9-g turns. The F-16 is relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain so the U.S. and 25 other countries added it to their inventory. The Fighting Falcon is referred to by its pilots as the “Viper” and will remain in USAF service until 2025.
In the summer of 1979 the RNLAF received their first F-16 wearing standard operational colors and displayed it to the public on September 15th. In 1983 the first special paint scheme was added to a 322 Squadron F-16. In 2009 J-015 replaced J-055 as the Demo aircraft and was adorned with the “Orange Lion” scheme representing the Coat of Arms of the Dutch Royal Family. The 2007 through 2009 demo seasons aircrafts were piloted by Flt Lt Ralph "Sheik" Aarts. J-015 was received by the RNLAF in August 1991.