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A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron provides top cover for U.S. forces as they transition personnel and equipment out of Iraq, in this 2011 file photo.

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 79th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron provides top cover for U.S. forces as they transition personnel and equipment out of Iraq, in this 2011 file photo. (Cecilio Ricardo/U.S. Air Force)

For more than 35 years, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has controlling the skies.

Introduced in 1978, the fighter jet can fly at twice the speed of sound at heights up to 50,000 feet.

The single-seat F16C and the double-seated F16D, are equipped with an M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon, and can carry up to six air-to-air missiles.

Air Force pilots operate some 1,000 F-16s throughout the world. Enjoy this gallery of the Fighting Falcon in action.

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