January 11, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin Aerospace sends more employees to Holloman Air Force Base who will stay there over the next two years for testing F-16 block 60 in collaboration with the 46th Test Group.
They will use Holloman's advanced facilities and ranges. The exact number Lockheed Martin employees that will be involved is yet to be announced.
The employees will be testing existing and future block 60
technologies which will ensure that the F16 remains ahead of other aircraft on the international fighter market.
The Block 60 will be able to perform the full range of fighter missions even better than the current F-16.
The program includes significant development and integration of new technologies at LMA, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and other companies.
Key systems on the new version of the F-16 include:
- APG-80 multimode radar with active electronically scanned antenna, which provides greater detection range, resolution, modes, growth potential and reliability, plus simultaneous mode operation.
- Integrated FLIR and targeting system, which is a high-performance day/night targeting and navigation system in a low-drag configuration with no flight performance restrictions.
- Falcon Edge advanced internal electronic warfare system, which enhances survivability against threats utilizing next generation technology.
- Advanced cockpit with three large flat-panel displays and automated operations to maximize pilot situational awareness and reduce pilot workload.
- Advanced avionics processors with fiber optic data bus, supportable commercial hardware and software with robust growth capability.
- Helmet-mounted cueing system provisions, which improve situational awareness and high-off-boresight targeting.
- Highly integrated navigation, which is precise, universal navigation with graceful degradation.
- Data link, which is rapid, accurate targeting which allows for improved pilot situational awareness.
- Advanced weapons inventory, which includes advanced beyond visual range missiles and air-to-ground precision guided munitions.
- New flight control and environmental control systems, which improve supportability, capability and growth potential.
- Conformal fuel tanks and 600-gallon wing tanks, which significantly increase mission range/loiter/combat persistence/payload and payload flexibility.
- Increased takeoff gross weight (50,000 pounds) to allow takeoff with larger fuel loads and combat payloads.
- Enhanced performance engine, which improves reliability and preserves the F-16's agility in heavier configurations. The engine features digital auto-throttle that couples with an advanced autopilot operation.