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Just like cars, any aircraft in the world needs constant maintenance and repairs to keep it in tip-top shape. If cars needed an inspection every 3,000 miles, planes like the F-16 need around 300 to 400 hours.
Fighter jets are made up of thousands of parts. Throughout hundreds of fours of flight time, these parts are subject to stress fractures, cracks, heat damage, or may even go loose.
Some maintenance work can be done while the engine is still connected to the aircraft. However, complex repairs are usually done with the engines out of the aircraft.
If needed, engines can be taken out for further maintenance and repairs. In rare instances, the crew needs to replace a bolt that can compromise the integrity of the aircraft.
Before the crew thinks about extracting the engines, they have to disarm the aircraft first. This means removing the bombs and missiles so their work can be performed safely.