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Watch 9 F-16s Making A Crazy ‘Attack’ On A Danish Airbase

Multiple jets attacking an airstrip from all sides in a simulated multi-vector attack scenario is not a sight we see every day, especially in this day and age of precision-guided weaponry. That makes the surfacing of one film, depicting Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) F-16s, all the more impressive.

The footage is amazing for the sheer number of jets flying over the facility. In such fast-paced action, it’s difficult to keep track of how many jets pass overhead from various angles. It’s no surprise that onlookers on the ground are captivated by the scene.

The event marked the F-16’s 40th year of service in Denmark. The first of 77 F-16s for Denmark was delivered on January 28, 1980. To mark this feat, the RDAF staged two formation flights on January 17, 2020, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These planes flew elaborate circuits over much of Denmark, stopping at various air bases, airports, and landmarks while primarily flying at a height of about 2,000 feet. Each formation flight consisted of ten jets, one of which was a camera ship used to film the event.

The War Zone spoke with Paul Tremelling, a former U.K. Royal Navy Sea Harrier and Harrier GR9 pilot as well as a former U.S. Navy exchange pilot on the F/A-18E, about how this eye-catching sequence was put together.

“It’s one of those things that looks pretty cool, and I’m sure some people are bleating about it looking dangerous… but I don’t think it is,” Tremelling says.”There seem to be three height-deconflicted elements.” The lowest is the one that comes from behind. The middle one is the one that the camera is originally watching, and then there’s a further, higher formation that turns up last. There seems to be a slight stagger in that the “on top” time of the elements is low, medium, and high. Bear in mind that all players know which axis the others are coming from. I’m sure the team had some sort of “flinch” or sanctuary plan in place in case they weren’t visible by a certain point—or had radar or link contact. They’d all be in radio communication too. “No one turns through more than 180 degrees, so keeping situational awareness on the different elements would have been easy.”

Denmark, like many of its NATO allies, sees the F-35 as its fighter of the future. With the F-16’s demise, one can only hope that we haven’t seen the last of the Royal Danish Air Force’s theatrical formation flights, such as those held to commemorate the Viper’s 40th anniversary in the country.

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