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World; F-16: Sale of the Century


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F-16: Sale of the Century
Program Number


Series Description

Documentary series with international stories. Predecessor to FRONTLINE, executive producer David Fanning. Five seasons from 1978-1981. "WORLD has presented a series of international documentaries. One of our concerns has been to show the world as others see it, and we are committed to the idea that we should include those who normally don't have a chance to have their voices heard." -- quote from opening to Blacks Britannica (1978) Series release date: 1978

Program Description

For 20 years, NATO's first line of defense was the Lockheed Starfighter. By the early 1970's, it was due for replacement. Four countries were in the market for a new lightweight fighter: Norway, Denmark, Holland and Belgium -- a total of 348 fighter planes with an enormous price tag. Their final decision would be crucial to both Europe's aircraft industry and to the continuing dream of European Unity. Competing for the sale were four companies: France's Mirage jet by Dassault; Sweden's Saab-Scania with their jet the Viggen; and two American companies -- Northrop's F-17 Cobra and General Dynamics' F-16.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Global Affairs
Chicago: “World; F-16: Sale of the Century,” 03/07/1979, GBH Archives, accessed February 24, 2024,
MLA: “World; F-16: Sale of the Century.” 03/07/1979. GBH Archives. Web. February 24, 2024. <>.
APA: World; F-16: Sale of the Century. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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