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Debunking the Claim: US Navy Carrying F-16 Fighter Jets to Israel

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The viral video claiming to show US ships carrying F16s to Israel is actually from 2022 and portrays a close encounter between two ships in US’ San Diego Bay. The video has no link to the recent Israel-Palestine conflict.

In the age of rapid information dissemination and social media, misinformation and unverified claims can spread like wildfire. One such claim that recently gained attention was the assertion that the US Navy was carrying F-16 fighter jets to Israel. A 21-second video showing two ships moving side-by-side in the sea is being shared on social media to claim that it shows “USS aircraft carriers safely arriving in Israel, carrying 5 F-16 fighter jets”. This claim garnered significant interest and speculation, but it's important to clarify that this information is not accurate.

An X (formerly Twitter) user Anurag Kanaujia shared a video with the caption "Big News: A US ship carrying F-16 fighter jets has reached Israel's west coast. America is defending Israel".

The F-16 Fighter Jet

Before debunking the claim, let's first establish some context regarding the F-16 fighter jet. The F-16, also known as the "Fighting Falcon," is a versatile and widely used multirole fighter aircraft developed by General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) in the United States. It has been a cornerstone of the United States Air Force (USAF) and is used by numerous other countries around the world. However, it's crucial to understand that the F-16 is primarily operated by air forces, not by navies.

Debunking the Claim

  1. Incompatibility with US Navy Operations: The claim that the US Navy was transporting F-16 fighter jets to Israel directly contradicts the very nature of the two entities. The US Navy operates a variety of aircraft, including fixed-wing aircraft like the F/A-18 Hornet and F-35C Lightning II. The US Navy is primarily responsible for operating and maintaining naval and maritime assets, including aircraft carriers, destroyers, and submarines. It does not operate F-16 fighter jets.

  2. Alternative Methods of Transport: When countries wish to transport military assets, such as fighter jets, they typically use cargo planes or dedicated military transport aircraft, rather than naval vessels. Military cargo aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 Hercules are specifically designed for such purposes. The idea of a naval vessel carrying fighter jets is not only unusual but also inefficient and costly.

  3. Lack of Official Confirmation: Another essential aspect of debunking this claim is the lack of official confirmation. In cases involving military operations and equipment transfers, governments and their respective military branches typically provide official statements or press releases. The absence of such confirmations from both the US Navy and the Israeli government is a clear indicator that the claim is baseless.

To find out the reality behind the viral video, we extracted the keyframes of the video and conducted reverse image searches on Google and Yandex. 

In the process, we found a report by THE INDEPENDENT published on December 1, 2022, revealing that the video was from a channel of California’s San Diego Bay.

According to the report, “two US Navy warships were forced to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a head-on collision in San Diego Bay. Video captured by San Diego Webcam shows the guided-missile destroyer Momsen entering the harbour as the dock landing ship Harper’s Ferry exits. The ships appear to be moving directly towards each other before the Momsen makes a hard turn to the left to avoid the larger ship.”

We also found a 32.53-minute video on the YouTube channel ‘San Deigo Web Cam’ referenced in the report by Independent. The video was uploaded on November 30, 2022, under the title ‘Warship Chicken – More Context.’ The segment of the video that went viral can be seen here.

We found the same news had been published by ABC NewsNewYork PostFox News with the same video back in 2022.


The viral video claiming to show US ships carrying F16s to Israel is actually from 2022 and portrays a close encounter between two ships in US’ San Diego Bay. The video has no link to the recent Israel-Palestine conflict.

Also, the US hasn't provided any military aid to Israel during the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

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