March 8, 1999 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) has modified the first Korean F-16 with the AN/ALQ-165 Airborne Self-Protection Jammer (ASPJ). The aircraft was accepted on February 26, 1999, on schedule.
ASPJ is a state-of-the-art internal electronic countermeasures system used to defeat or degrade tracking by threat radar systems and will enhance the survivability of the F-16 in combat. The system is built by a team of Northrop Grumman and ITT and is currently in service with some fighters in the U. S Navy, Marine Corps and several international customers' versions of similar fighters.
Korea is the first international customer to incorporate ASPJ on theF-16s. ASPJ is the fourth type of internal electronic countermeasures equipment that has been integrated into the F-16. Addition of the ASPJ countermeasures set will give the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF
) F-16s a robust self-protection capability. These aircraft also have the ALR-56M radar warning receiver and the ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenser.
The current program to install the ASPJ in ROKAF F-16s began in April1997. The modified aircraft is the ROKAF's latest version of the F-16, which was delivered in late 1994 and was flown back to the United States for modification and testing. This aircraft was modified at Fort Worth, will undergo testing in the an echoic chamber, and will then be ferried to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for several months of flight testing. The remainder of the F-16s scheduled for the ASPJ upgrade will be modified in Korea by the ROKAF beginning in mid-2000.
The ROKAF received its first F-16 aircraft in 1986-88. Deliveries of the second ROKAF buy of F-16s, known as the Korean Fighter Program, began in1994. The first few were built at LMTAS, and the remainder are being produced under license at Samsung Aerospace in Sachon, Korea.