First introduced in the 1970s as a lower cost, light weight alternative to the F-15 eagle, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has become the fighter backbone of the US Air Force. Affectionately known as the "Viper" by its pilots, the F-16 has served with distinction in conflicts around the world most notable in the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. The F-16 features fly-by-wire control as well as the ability to sustain 9Gs in maneuvers. The Wild Weasel mission arose during the Vietnam War to search out and destroy enemy defenses by intentionally drawing their fire thereby exposing their position. Performed first by the F-100F Super Sabre, several aircraft have one the job over the years including the F-105G Thunderchief and F-4G Phantom II. The mission has most recently been taken up by the F-16C. The Viper has proven adept at the role.