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IAI bids to upgrade Israeli F-16s

October 1, 2003 (by habu2) - Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is again trying to convince the Israeli air force to upgrade its older F-16s with the company's Avionics Capability Enhancement (ACE) package.
IAI has been working on the ACE package for several years, having flown a F-16B demonstrator in 2001and received Israeli government funding for the work.

Despite the air force loaning the demonstrator airframe, it remains uncommitted to the project, mainly due to an order for 102 F-16Is.

IAI is trying to convince the air force to upgrade 50 older F-16s as the new aircraft are delivered, from late this year. There has been concern in Israeli industry that without the home air force ordering the ACE package, it will be difficult to market the upgrade to overseas air forces.

IAI heads a consortium of ACE participant companies, which includes Astronautics, Elop and Elta. The upgrade is based around an open architecture mission system to allow carriage of a wide variety of weapon systems and sensors without hardware changes.

The configuration includes the Elta EL/M-2032 radar, three Astronautics 130 x 180mm (5 x 7in) liquid-crystal displays and an Elop wide-angle head-up display.