Isradecals #65: F-16I 'Sufa'
Units: All of them


$26.00 includes world wide shipping


Scott Van Aken

Note: This sheet is 1/48 scale
The F-16I is a two-seat variant of the Block 50/52 Plus developed for the Israeli Defense Force Air Force (IDF/AF). Israel issued a requirement in September 1997 and selected the F-16 in preference to the F-15 in July 1999. An initial "Peace Marble V" contract was signed on 14 January 2000 with a follow on contract signed on 19 December 2001 for a total procurement of 102 aircraft. The F-16I, which is called Sufa (Storm) by the IDF/AF, first flew on 23 December 2003, and deliveries to the IDF/AF began on 19 February 2004.
The F-16I's most notable difference from the standard Block 50+ is that approximately 50% of the American avionics have been replaced by Israeli-developed avionics (such as the Israeli Aerial Towed Decoy replacing the ALE-50). The addition of Israeli-built autonomous aerial combat maneuvering instrumentation systems enables the training exercises to be conducted without dependence on ground instrumentation systems, and the helmet-mounted sight is also standard equipment. The helmet-mounted sight, HUD, mission computer, presentation computer, and digital map display are made by Elbit Systems of Israel. Furthermore, the F-16I is able to employ Rafael's new Python 5 imaging infrared-guided high-agility air-to-air missile. The F-16I also has the IAI-built removable conformal fuel tanks added to extend its range; removal takes two hours. Key American-sourced systems include the F100-PW-229 engine, which offers commonality with the IDF/AF's F-15Is, and the APG-68(V)9 radar.

So says Wikipedia. As Isradecal has some interest in doing IAF subjects, it is no surprise that there is a sheet dedicated to this most interesting of the F-16 variants. Set 65 allows the builder the chance to build any aircraft of any of the four squadrons operating the type. Modelers will  need the Hasegawa F-16 kit and the Isracast conversion set to build one of these, but the set is quite complete.

With this set of decals, there are enough data and insignia to do two complete aircraft as long as they are not from the same unit. As with all of the new Isradecal sheets, this one is superbly printed in the Czech Republic. A full color 8 page instruction booklet is included as well as an addendum sheet as there was a small printing glitch. As with all of IsraDecal's products, this one is highly recommended.

November 2008

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