January 15, 2006 (by G. A. Volb) - Wiring for pylons on F-16 Fighting Falcons are being upgraded by the 309th Commodities Maintenance Squadron at Ogden Air Logistics Center here, enabling the jets to handle 21st century smart munitions.
Detail of the centerline pylon on 194th FS F-16C block 25 #85404. [Photo by Jeff Hollenbeck]
The cables that deliver the pilot's commands to the munitions must be more complex as weapon systems and munitions improve.
"The current modifications consist of removing the wiring harness, machining the pylon to accept a new, larger version, then installing it and reassembling the pylon," said Steve Morlock, the squadron's armament flight chief. "Then we have to perform electrical tests to ensure everything is working as planned and finish it off with a paint job."
The result is a better-equipped aircraft able to use more precise munitions and limit collateral damage on the battlefield.
The pylon shop recently improved its process, cutting several flow days off the production schedule.
"The pylon team was given the reins to make it all happen," said Capt. Joe Fuller, the squadron's director of operations. "They bought into the process (and) used the expertise of our consultants to stay on track."
Consequently, the pylons return to the supply system earlier than expected, Captain Fuller said. This enables aircraft worldwide to upgrade munitions capability quicker.