June 30, 1998 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The U.S. Air Force recently awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to begin Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) of the Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP) for the USAF's F-16C/D fleet.
will provide significant avionics upgrades to block 40
and 50 F-16s, ensuring their state-of-the-art capability well into the 21st century.
A key element of the upgrade is a common hardware and software avionics configuration for these two blocks. This commonality will have major benefits in the areas of logistics, training, expeditionary deployability, costs for software upgrade and operation and support costs. The avionics changes consist of the following systems: Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS), Joint helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), commercial expanded programmable display generator, color multifunction display set, modular mission computer, mux loadable data entry display set and an electronic horizontal situation display.
This package contains a number of systems now being incorporated into European F-16s in the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update program. The EMD
program will consist of design, analysis and testing of all of the systems. Flight testing will be conducted in the 2001 time frame under a separate contract.
The EMD contract employs various acquisition reform initiatives, including commercial practices and commercial components, that are expected to save substantial amounts over the life cycle of these aircraft. The EMD program is valued at $84. 3 million and is the first part of a three-step, $1 billion program that will upgrade almost 700 Block 40 and 50USAF F-16s through 2005. Other countries operating the F-16C/D are expected to be interested in this upgrade, and these systems will be available in new F-16s built in the future.