March 23, 2015 (by Eglin AFB) - The first Air Force Lot 1 production QF-16 #QF-007 touched down March 11, 2015.
Maintainers begin post-flight checks on the first Lot 1 production model QF-16 #86-0233 (QF-007) after it arrived at Tyndall AFB on March 11th, 2015. The aircraft is the first of 13 deliveries to the 82nd ATRS, a geographically separated unit of the 53rd Wing, headquartered at Eglin AFB. The QF-16 will replace the QF-4 as the next generation aerial target. [F-16.net photo]
The aircraft fulfills the first of 13 deliveries to the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron. This is the first production QF-16 aircraft to be delivered off of the Drone Peculiar Equipment production line.
"Today culminates five years of hard work and dedication beginning with a development program, completing a rigorous test and evaluation phase that has ultimately led to the first operational delivery of the QF-16," said Michele Hafers, director, test and training division at Eglin AFB
. "We take great pride in this significant team achievement and are honored to provide the warfighter with this enhanced capability."
The QF-16 will replace the legacy QF-4 aerial target as the next generation representative aerial target, with missions that encompass manned combat training profiles and unmanned live-fire threat scenarios here and Holloman AFB, N.M.
The 82nd ATRS is a geographically separated unit of the 53rd Wing, headquartered at Eglin AFB.