You Can Buy Yourself an F-16 Combat Jet for $8.5 Million, but Conditions Apply!
Looking to buy a vehicle to show off to your rich friends? A super-cool F-16 plane will surely make heads turn and grab the visitor’s attention if you have $8.5 million to spare. While this amount might sound like a huge amount, the asking price is cheap for a state-of-the-art aircraft. However, don’t bother to buy now as this deal is too good to be true. Ownership of F-16s by civilians is possible after getting from the US State Department’s permission, proper demilitarization, and proper authorizations to own ITAR-controlled goods. And don’t think that you can avoid all this if you buy them from another country, the US Government has to approve the sale and is basically impossible to obtain.
Possibly with the right name, and a lot of money, permission may be secured. Even if an experienced USAF trained F-16 Pilot who won the Congressional Medal of Honour, was granted the permission to purchase this plane, it would be very difficult to maintain this sophisticated machine. In the USAF, a dedicated crew services the plane; it “belongs” to the crew chief, and not the pilot. Former support crew can be hired, and you can even buy surplus support wares, but unless you manage or run a museum with enough investors and volunteers, this is not going to be cheap. You must obtain a two- eater to sell rides. The cost of operations is a fraction of the capital but exceeds $10,000/hr.
F-16s are regarded as the top-notch fighter jets around. But as regular upgrades are undertaken by the US Air Force, the older planes are put up for sale. These surplus aircraft are sold as Excess Defense Articles. There are over 4,600 F-16 fighter jets made by Lockheed Martin, which took over General Dynamics, the company that originally manufactured the planes.
Aircraft broker Jet Lease, which is based out of Palm Beach, Florida, is selling a fighter jet, the powerful F-16A/B Fighting Falcon, which is originally from the country of Jordan. What is different from other F-16s, is that it is not demilitarized and retains combat aircraft features. The leasing firm is selling many similar jets, BM Block 20 Mid-Life-Updates and F-16 AM from Jordan. The Fighting Falcon flies 1,573 miles per hour or Mach 2.05 at 40,000 feet with an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet. With superior features, this hunk of machine can fly 8,000 hours! The jet has just about 6,000 hours and may probably be used for 10 to 15 years. It has a 2,400-mile range and is modernized with several important updates including Link16 data network, GPS-controlled weapons, night-vision helmets, and a Joint Helmet Held Cueing System. It is also fitted with a top-class pulse-Doppler radar.
However, you can’t just write a check, hop on it, and take off. There are strict rules for owning the fighter jet because it is a fully operational combat plane which if fell into wrong hands, could be a public danger. The F-16 is marketed toward air service provider contractors that provide test services for the Pentagon and the Defense Department. The next owners should abide by strict International Traffic in Arms Regulations, which mentions who can operate a F-16 and other weapon systems.The regulation is overseen by the State Department and also covers the Arms Export Control Act. Simply being rich, is not enough. Even Kylie Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire, can’t fly it for a thrilling experience.
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