Development of the F-16 will continue

Feel free to discuss anything here - as long as it is F-16 related.
  • Author
  • Message


Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2281
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post02 May 2021, 16:45

Development of the F-16 will continue
May 2, 2021, 09:51

Danya Trent, Vice President of the F-16 Program, Lockheed Martin, talks to Defence24 about the current state of the F-16 program and its future prospects. Also in the context of Poland, where a regional support center for this construction may be established.

Maciej Szopa: The F-16 is still the most popular combat aircraft in the world. This is due not only to the history of this construction, but also to the successes achieved now. Which countries have recently managed to persuade to buy the F-16 and what markets are Lockheed Martin counting on?

Danya Trent: Lockheed Martin has been providing military aviation solutions for decades. Our platforms are proven and offer comprehensive capabilities. The air force all over the world rely on their constant readiness. Our aircraft are the backbone of NATO and Allied fleets, and we are constantly working to modernize and maintain them, ensuring cost-effective readiness.

Regarding the F-16 specifically, we have already produced over 4.5 thousand of them, and they are used by 25 countries. In forty years, these fighters have spent a total of over 19 million hours in the air. One of the main reasons they are chosen is because of their proven effectiveness. Five countries chose the latest model - the F-16 Block 70/72 - of which two countries from Central and Eastern Europe: Slovakia and Bulgaria. That's 128 aircraft in total, and the number is growing. Given international interest, we see potential for at least 300 additional new production aircraft.

There are currently numerous generation 4+ combat aircraft on the market. Some of them are younger designs than the F-16C / D. What features make the F-16 competitive with them?

Today's F-16s bring a new level of capability to the air force around the world. The latest configuration, the F-16 Block 70/72, includes advanced avionics, an upgraded cockpit and a large selection of certified, available, advanced weapon systems. An example of a new technology used in a jet is the Northrop Grumman APG-83 AESA radar, which shares 95% of the software in common and 70% of parts in common with the F-35's radar. Additionally, the Block 70/72 conformal fuel tanks give the F-16 more fuel and a longer range without sacrificing aerodynamics.

The F-16 Block 70/72 also has an industry-unique extended service life of 12,000. hours. For most of the Air Force, this would mean at least 40 years of service life, with no major refurbishment expected over the entire period. It also means the possibility of extending the service intervals, which, together with the increased reliability of the entire aircraft, will significantly reduce maintenance costs. The newly manufactured jets have an additional upgrade in the form of the life-saving Automatic Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS). Since the system entered service in the US Air Force at the end of 2014, there have been 11 Auto GCAS interventions that saved 11 pilots and 10 F-16s from crash.

Besides these facilities, there is another aspect that is more difficult to illustrate. The point is, when you join the F-16 community, it doesn't just mean you'll be a user of that plane. Because in this way you are building, for decades, strategic relations with the United States and other allies. This means the possibility of military cooperation and partnership with the US Air Force. This means training pilots in the air, training on the ground, or joint exercises with the US and other partners. It also means a stronger regional military partnership. This is largely the reason why countries choose the F-16, which makes this aircraft stand out from other fourth-generation jets.

India is one of the countries in which Lockheed Martin is active. The proposed F-21 is the F-16 Block 70/72 or a further development version of this design?

The F-21 is configured to meet the unique requirements of the Indian Air Force to integrate the country into the $ 165 billion fighter ecosystem. Both inside and out, the F-21 has a number of features tailored to the Indian Air Force requirements. The individual systems and capabilities of the F-21 include:

Modern cockpit with a new large-area display (LAD);
Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) and communication system specially configured for India;
Dorsal fairing with the additional possibility of increasing the capacity, allowing for the future integration of native systems;
Air refueling probe. The F-21 is the only fighter in the world that can be refueled in the air both by a probe and by a boom.
The F-21 can provide the Indian Air Force with an advanced, single-engine, multi-role fighter at optimal life cycle costs.

Continuing the Indian thread. Would winning there mean moving the American production line to India?

We offer F-21 planes for India. If selected, they could be produced in India.

Is there any further development of the F-16 planned or is the F-16V or the F-21 the final version?

We are constantly developing new capabilities and technologies for these platforms and we can see that we will continue to do so in the future. Please note that the F-16V configuration allows this aircraft to be equipped with an AESA radar similar to that of the F-35, as mentioned in the answer to the previous question. This also applies to the modernized cockpit, which allows for more efficient use of weapons. Together, both of these improvements are a powerful deterrent.

The F-16 sells well in Central and Eastern Europe. Poland is the largest user in this region. To what extent could Polish plants become a regional service hub for this structure?

This is true, because there are actually over 700 F-16 planes in Europe alone. The success in the region reflects our belief that the F-16 offers the best quality of the fourth generation aircraft and is highly competitive compared to any other platform. Bulgaria and Slovakia conducted tendering procedures and the F-16s won in both.

When it comes to building Poland's capacity, Lockheed Martin is strongly committed to lasting partnerships. We provide technology transfer, research and development opportunities, long-term and sustainable high-tech jobs. We also contribute to economic growth and exports. Lockheed Martin directly employs 1.6 thousand people in Poland. people and keeps a job of 5 thousand other people in our national supply chain. If there was a justification for such a regional center, Lockheed Martin could use its experience resulting from the involvement in Poland described above.

The Polish technical modernization plan provides for additional F-16s, which will complement the purchase of the F-35 made a year ago. Are there any talks with Poland on this subject?

We are ready to support the Polish Air Force if they define their safety requirements and assess whether the additional new F-16s meet these requirements.

The Polish F-16C / D fleet consists of Block 52+ standard planes, additionally with software upgraded to the M6.5 standard. What additional abilities did this pack give?

The M6.5 standard enables the integration of additional weapons and includes software and hardware system updates.

What would be the benefits of upgrading them to the F-16 Block 70/72 standard. How long would such treatments take and how long would it take?

Upgrading the current Polish F-16 Block 52+ to the Viper configuration, i.e. the F-16V, would provide the same advanced avionics and weaponry capabilities as the new Block 72 aircraft. As mentioned earlier, the Block 70/72 variant offers significant capabilities of great importance . If the Polish Air Force were interested in the new F-16s, we would be happy to start such talks. And when it comes to timelines, a number of factors affect delivery times for new jets, with the United States Air Force making the final decision.

Is it possible to "indirectly" upgrade, without the full F-16V standard, using the existing M.6.5 software, eg by installing an AESA radar? This radar was used by selected F-16s of the National Guard. How are these US space-saving fighters different from the F-16V for Taiwan, Greece, or Slovakia?

Installing a new AESA radar in the Polish F-16 Block 52+ would significantly increase their capabilities. However, to take full advantage of the AESA radar, it would also be necessary to modernize the cockpit to allow the pilot to assess the severity of threats, optimize weapon selection, increase interoperability with national and NATO forces, and process reconnaissance data. There are many upgrade options for the F-16. Decisions on making specific radars and software available for Poland - as for other countries - are made by the US government.

thank you for the conversation ... any-wywiad
When Obi Wan logged onto Twitter: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious"
User avatar


Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 809
  • Joined: 18 Aug 2007, 17:18
  • Location: Long Island, New York

Unread post02 May 2021, 23:31

Pity the article didn't mention the F-36A Kingsnake

A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
User avatar


Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 638
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2008, 20:43
  • Location: Macomb, Michigan

Unread post04 May 2021, 02:58

When it comes to how much bang you get for your buck it is the only game in town!!!
Vietnam veteran (Combat Engineer) 1967
Retired from Chrysler Engineering




  • Posts: 66
  • Joined: 11 Sep 2018, 08:02

Unread post05 May 2021, 06:19

FlightDreamz wrote:Pity the article didn't mention the F-36A Kingsnake

Pity it does no mention the x-wing strafighter either. Both are equally real planes.

There is no f-36 kingsnake, and will never be. Such planesiw not being developed, the plane is 100 % imaginary. Nothing to mention.

Lets not clutter threads that are about real planes with talk about inaginary planes.


Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2551
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post21 May 2021, 06:34

Greenville will build the next 128. India's opportunity cost. ... _Customers

F-16 orders.jpg


Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1569
  • Joined: 08 Jul 2004, 19:22
  • Location: Norway

Unread post21 May 2021, 12:05

What's the total production number at now?
Best regards


Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2281
  • Joined: 02 Feb 2014, 15:43

Unread post24 May 2021, 14:20

F-16s Could Still be Flying Into the 2070s
May 23, 2021 | By John A. Tirpak

Based on Lockheed Martin’s backlog of F-16 orders, planned upgrades, and the recent revelation that the Air Force plans to depend on the fighter into the late 2030s, the F-16’s sunset years now could come in the 2070s, or later.

Lockheed Martin’s backlog of 128 F-16s—all for foreign military sales—won’t all be delivered until 2026, and the company anticipates more orders may be coming. With a potential service life of 40 years or more, those jets could be flying into the late 2060s or later. The type first entered service in the 1970s.

“There are 25 nations operating F-16s today,” said Col. Brian Pearson, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center lead for F-16 FMS, in a May 17 press release. Lockheed’s Greenville, S.C., F-16 manufacturing and upgrade facility, which will start turning out new F-16s in 2022, “helps us meet the global demand” for F-16 aircraft, he said. Lockheed moved its F-16 work from Fort Worth, Texas, in 2019 to make room there for expanded F-35 production.

Since the new line opened, AFLCMC’s security assistance and cooperation directorate “has seen an uptick of our partner nations requesting detailed information and requests for U.S. government sales,” said Col. Anthony Walker, senior materiel leader in the international division.

The 128 jets are for Bahrain, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Taiwan, and another country the company declined to name, although Croatia and the Philippines have been mentioned as customers. These aircraft will be in the Block 70/72 configuration, which includes new radar, displays, conformal fuel tanks, and other improvements over the Block 50/52 version, the most recent flown by USAF. Lockheed is building F-16s at a rate of about four per month at Greenville.

India is also considering buying an advanced F-16 version Lockheed has dubbed the “F-21,” which Lockheed touts as having a 12,000-hour service life; roughly 50 percent more than the ones the USAF flies. At normal utilization, 12,000 hours is about 32 years of service. India would produce those jets indigenously. India is looking to buy 114 fighters, and Lockheed is partnered with Tata to build the jets if it wins the competition.

Gregory M. Ulmer, Lockheed’s vice president for aeronautics, told reporters in February the company sees a potential for 300 additional F-16 sales not yet on the books, some of which will be to “repeat” customers.

The increased foreign interest may be related to the USAF’s hints over the last two years that it will continue to fly the F-16 beyond previous plans, thus reassuring customers that the parts and support pipeline for a large number of aircraft will persist.

Those hints turned more concrete in recent days. Talking points drawn up for USAF Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. about the service’s future fighter force plans, obtained by Air Force Magazine, indicate the Air Force expects that “600+ late-block F-16s will provide affordable capacity for the next 15+ years,” in both competitive and permissive combat environments. These aircraft will in fact be the USAF’s “capacity force,” the documents say, and will serve as a “rheostat,” meaning their total number can be adjusted up or down depending on the success of the F-35 program and a separate F-16 replacement now known as the Multi-Role-X.

The Air Force considers “competitive” to mean airspace that is reasonably well defended by aircraft and surface-to-air systems. “Highly competitive” and “denied” airspace would only be penetrable by fifth-gen and sixth-gen aircraft with extremely low observable qualities.

Although the fiscal year 2022 budget request, to be released May 28, will reveal some details of the Air Force’s new force structure plans, Brown said at the recent McAleese and Associates defense conference that the meat of the plan will be spelled out in the fiscal ’23 budget.

In the near-term, the USAF plans the divestiture of all the F-16 “pre-blocks” of aircraft, meaning all those that remain in its inventory of the Block 15-25-30 versions.

Lockheed received an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract in January worth up to $64.3 billion for production of new F-16s for FMS customers, as well as upgrades of 405 jets in foreign hands to the F-16V configuration, which is similar to the F-21 model proposed to India. These modifications will include “new radar and other upgrades to make them similar to the aircraft that will come off the production line,” AFLCMC’s release said.

The large omnibus contract creates a baseline F-16 configuration for all future production, with the Air Force acting as the agent for FMS customers. Each country will sign a separate contract for unique or custom equipment they want on their particular jets. An Air Force official said the arrangement “simplifies and accelerates” the FMS process for countries wanting to buy the F-16, “so we can get it into their hands faster than has been the case in recent years.” The approach is needed because of the increased expected demand for the airplane, he said. It also reduces the cost of the jet by allowing vendors to make larger, more economic quantities of parts and structural components. The work will also integrate the Joint Mission Planning System/Mission Planning Environment software update.

The contract specifically mentioned work for Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Korea, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Japan flies an F-16 variant, called the F-2, but it performs all work on that type.

More than 4,550 F-16s have been delivered to the U.S. and allied countries since the 1970s. The late Michele A. Evans, Ulmer’s predecessor as Lockheed VP for aeronautics, said in September 2020, the company sees a possibility “of getting up to 5,000” F-16s built. She also said the company views the F-16 as an entrée to its F-35, for countries that are not yet ready to adopt the fifth-generation fighter, but may wish to later.

Brig. Gen. Dale R. White, the USAF’s program executive officer for fighters and advanced aircraft, called the F-16 an “enduring, highly capable compact fighter that will have a large role in many partner nations’ security for years to come.” ... the-2070s/
When Obi Wan logged onto Twitter: "You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious"

Return to General F-16 forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest