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F-16 Fighter Jet

F-16 Fighter Jet is one of the most widely used planes in the world. It is one of the most successful fighter jets out there and since its release, it has been deployed and used in many wars.

The cost of the F-16 is somewhere between $12.7 to $80 million, depending on the variant and the country buying the fighter jet.

F-16 was specifically designed as a cost-effective alternative to previous aircraft like the F-15 and the F-16 is actually more affordable when compared to other modern fighter jets.

General Characteristics of F-16 fighter jet

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F-16 Variants:

F-16 was introduced in 1973 but its production started in the 1980s.

There are many different variants of the F-16. Some of the major production variants are as follows:

1–15F-16A / BPW F100-PW-200
15OCU, 20F-16A / BPW F100-PW-220
25,32,42F-16C / DPW F100-PW-220E
30,40F-16C / DGE F110-GE-100
50,70F-16C / D / VGE F110-GE-129
52,72F-16C / D / VPW F100-PW-229
60F-16E / FGE F110-GE-132

Cost of Different F-16 Variants:

The price of the F-16 depends upon the variant, armament, features, suites, and other factors such as which country is buying.

F-16 Fighter Jet

The prices of some of the major versions of the F-16 are as follows:


The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were the first production versions. They were sold for at least $12.7 million per unit in the 1980s.


The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) were produced in 1984. They came with improved avionics, radar, and all-weather capability. These variants had a unit cost of $18.8 million.


F-16E (single seat) and F-16F (two seat) were evolved from the F-16C/D. These fighter jets have an average unit cost between $25 to $35 million, while the advanced units cost between $40 to $60 million.

Cost of F-16 Per Flight Hour, to Fuel, and Maintain:

The F-16 fighter jet costs around $26,927/hour to operate. If a gallon of gas costs $5.5 then it costs $5,700 on average to fuel an F-16. The prices may vary from country to country and global oil prices.

F16 operating cost
Source: Statistica/Forbes

The maintenance cost of the F-16 is not publicly disclosed, but defense analysts speculate that maintaining an F-16 is expensive and costs $10 million every year.

The cost of the engine of the F-16 is approximately $3.6 million to 4 million.

Can Civilians Buy F-16 and other Fighter Jets?

Civilians can acquire fighter jets, such as the F-16 but the civilian ownership of F-16s and other fighter jets is subject to highly strict rules and regulations. That’s why very few individuals actually possess fighter jets.

However civilian ownership of fighter jets is limited to demilitarized versions only, as the owning of fighter jets equipped with weapons is not allowed.

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