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I have heard the F-16 has never lost an air-to-air dogfight - is this true?

  • $\begingroup$ It’s the pilot not the plane. :) $\endgroup$
    – PapaMike99
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ My friend's little Cessna 150 has never lost a dogfight either, at least since he's been flying it. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 23, 2022 at 3:59

3 Answers 3


migflug.com has a page for combat statistics for all the aircraft currently in use, from which:

The F-16 has 76 air kills, 1 air-to-air loss, and 5 losses to ground fire.

The one air-to-air loss (actually two F-16s colliding) was during the Aegean dispute:

One of the routine interception maneuvers led to a fatal accident on 23 May 2006. Two Turkish F-16s and one reconnaissance F-4 were flying in the international airspace over the southern Aegean at 27,000 feet (8,200 m) without having submitted flight plans to the Greek FIR authorities. They were intercepted by two Greek F-16s off the coast of the Greek island Karpathos. During the ensuing mock dog fight, a Turkish F-16 and a Greek F-16 collided midair and subsequently crashed. The pilot of the Turkish plane survived the crash, but the Greek pilot died.

You may consider it zero since it was a "mock" dogfight.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Is a collision during a "mock" dogfight really an air-to-air loss? $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ @fooot: clarified; if it wasn't, and one F-16 shot another, does the kill eliminate the loss? :P $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Commented Jun 3, 2019 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ @ymb1 not sure. Does the French winning a civil war against themselves count as a victory or a loss for the French? The former would put a lie to them never winning a war :) $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 4:06
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    $\begingroup$ Personal opinion: an accidental collision doesn't count as losing a dog fight. $\endgroup$
    – Notts90
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ India claims to have shoot down a Pakistani F-16 in 2019: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Don't think that has been verified though. $\endgroup$
    – Invariant
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 0:30

The guy talking about the only air-to-air loss being caused by a collision is wrong. That doesn't even count as an air-to-air loss.

The real air-to-air loss was in 1996 when a HAF Mirage 2000EGM shot down a TuAF F-16D with a Magic-2.

Link(wiki but accurate): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1996_Turkish_F-16_shootdown

  • $\begingroup$ No indication that a dogfight happened, and seems the Greek government denies the entire event happened. $\endgroup$
    – jwenting
    Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 14:26
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    $\begingroup$ Both countries denied the shoot down at the time, because earlier that year they came to the brink of war during Imia Crisis and the killing of two Greek-cypriots in the Buffer zone of Cyprus . News about a shoot down would spark an outcry for war during 1996, so it was agreed by both countries to keep the shoot down a secret. A lot of retired personnel from both sides confirmed it unofficially (Turkey has confirmed it officially since 2012), and greeks even painted a kill mark on the m2000 before they were ordered to remove it. pbs.twimg.com/media/EgWBoGHXYAANTT3?format=jpg&name=small $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 16:41

There are presented several results for F-16 vs MiG-29 during close-range dogfight training. One experiment was done in Germany between Luftwaffe MiG-29 and NATO F-16. There are some claims that in close-range dogfight training MiG-29 had 49:1 wins against F-16, however the real combat experience shows that MiG-29 has many loses (F-16 has a 92:13 kill/loss ratio, with MiG 29 having a 16:28 kill/loss ratio). Moreover, the study states that in current circumstances the chance of close-range dogfight is about 5%. More on close-range air combat is discussed here.


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