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Singapore to upgrade their F-16 fleet with AESA radars

July 2, 2015 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Singapore Air Force (RSAF) plans to upgrade 60 F-16C/D/D+ aircraft with new Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radar. This radar represents a significant capability upgrade, extending the F-16's detection range and enabling the fighter aircraft to track and engage multiple targets at greater distances.

RSAF F-16D block 52 #662 from 145 sqn is coming in for landing at Orange AB during exercise Garuda 2010 on June 16th, 2010. [ photo by Philippe Devos]

The upgrade will also equip the F-16s with an all-weather, ground-attack capability, enabling it to strike targets with more capable precision munitions such as the Laser Joint Direct Attack Munition (LJDAM).

Modern advanced air-to-air weapons will equip the aircraft with the capability to engage a wide spectrum of air threats within visual ranges.

In addition, the datalink capability and the advanced helmet mounted display will provide the pilot with superior situational awareness, enhancing safety and enabling the pilot to maximize the potential of modern munitions.

The contract includes:
  • supply of Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System,
  • AN/APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe Interrogator/Transponders,
  • LAU-129 Missile Launchers,
  • KMU-572/B 500lbs Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tail Kits,
  • FMU- Munition Fuze Units,
  • MK-82 500lbs Inert Bombs,
  • LN-260 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (GPS/INS),
  • GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB),
  • Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System/ Low Volume Terminals (MIDS/LVT),
  • SDB Guided Test Vehicles etc.

The upgrade program addresses reliability, supportability, and combat effectiveness concerns associated with the RSAF's aging fighter fleet.

The upgrades are scheduled to start in 2016 and will be conducted in phases. It is expected to take place over five to six years.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) already announced on June 4th that it had approved Singaporean F-16 block 52 Upgrade Program for an estimated cost of $130 million.

The F-16s first entered service on February 20th, 1988 when Singapore took delivery of its first Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 powered F-16 (a two seater).

Additional images:

RSAF F-16D block 52 #639 from 140 sqn parked on the tarmac during exercise 'Pitch Black 2002' in Australia [Photo by Rob Mitchell]

RSAF F-16C block 52 from the Black Knights demo team with number 3 attached is seen on the apron at Don Muang AFB on April 22nd, 2008. [Photo by John de Winter]