F-16 AIM-7 Capability

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F-16ADF

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Unread post02 Aug 2022, 23:25

viperzerof-2 wrote:Was their any thought about using the ADF in the Gulf War? The two ANG squadrons sent where both block 10. Given that the Viper needed escort because it lacked AMRAAM I was curious. Apparently Italian ADF where used this way in Libya.




Can't speak for the other ANG interceptor squadrons that transitioned to the ADF Viper. But for the 171FIS, they had their F-4D Phantom final flight in the summer of 1990. I think they started to get their first F-16 jets in Sept/Oct. Yet, the first ones that I remember seeing were still basically unmodified Block 15's -aka they lacked for the most part the swelled tail fairing, IFF bird slicers, and I don't even know if at that time they could fire the Aim-7. Even by late 1991, there still seemed to be some unmodified jets flying together with fully modified ones. (it was over 30yrs. ago and I am trying my best to remember)

And as Basher said, the first jets doing air defense for Desert Shield/Storm were the Eagles. I think they deployed just a few days after the Iraqi invasion. I guess if the AF needed other squadrons for air defense, they probably would have called up ADTAC units like the 48FIS, again another F-15 unit. Or they might have used the ANG interceptor Eagle units like ones form Massachusetts or Georgia. In addition for the mission, the F-15 could carry 4 Sparrows and it had a longer range radar.
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Unread post03 Aug 2022, 06:45

F-16ADF wrote:
viperzerof-2 wrote:Was their any thought about using the ADF in the Gulf War? The two ANG squadrons sent where both block 10. Given that the Viper needed escort because it lacked AMRAAM I was curious. Apparently Italian ADF where used this way in Libya.




Can't speak for the other ANG interceptor squadrons that transitioned to the ADF Viper. But for the 171FIS, they had their F-4D Phantom final flight in the summer of 1990. I think they started to get their first F-16 jets in Sept/Oct. Yet, the first ones that I remember seeing were still basically unmodified Block 15's -aka they lacked for the most part the swelled tail fairing, IFF bird slicers, and I don't even know if at that time they could fire the Aim-7. Even by late 1991, there still seemed to be some unmodified jets flying together with fully modified ones. (it was over 30yrs. ago and I am trying my best to remember)

And as Basher said, the first jets doing air defense for Desert Shield/Storm were the Eagles. I think they deployed just a few days after the Iraqi invasion. I guess if the AF needed other squadrons for air defense, they probably would have called up ADTAC units like the 48FIS, again another F-15 unit. Or they might have used the ANG interceptor Eagle units like ones form Massachusetts or Georgia. In addition for the mission, the F-15 could carry 4 Sparrows and it had a longer range radar.
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Unread post03 Aug 2022, 07:01

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Unread post03 Aug 2022, 07:05

Michigan "6 Pack" 171st Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 191st Fighter Interceptor Group, 81-0719 and 80-0542

2 F-16s from the 171st FIS, 191 FIG, Michigan Air National Guard "Michigan Six Pack". The original 81-0719 and 80-0542 were F-16A Block 15E ADFs. The Air Defense Fighter (ADF) Variant were specially built for the Air National Guard's Interceptor mission and were the only U.S. F-16 variant capable of carrying the AIM-7 Sparrow.

USAF 81-0719 and 80-0542 from 171 FIS, 191 FIG, Michigan Air National Guard.
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viperzerof-2

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Unread post19 Oct 2022, 15:30

The development ofthis radar effectively began in April 1980, when the F-16 program received direction to develop a derivative radar using earlier development efforts on the PSP. The new design had the additional components mentioned above. Its specifications came from the common modular multimode radar program.
Unlike most ofthe testing associated with MSIP, much ofthe initial flight testing for the APG-W occurred outside Air Force facilities. The F-16 SPO and Air Force Flight Test
Center reached agreement in late 1980 to use the Westinghouse flight test facility in Baltimore. Westinghouse would use a corporate-owned Sabreliner, modified to carry F-16 avionics, as the test platform for much of the early work. This approach was expected to cost less than giving Westinghouse extended access to an F-16 test aircraft and, incidentally, would help relieve excess demand for F-16 aircraft test assets.
Blake, 1987, p. 867.

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Despite the unorthodox test site and test vehicle, the F-16 SPO coordinated this development effort with MSIP early in its life. Flight tests began on the Sabreliner in early 1982, focusing especially on high-risk modes to assess their feasibility. The design reviews that followed these flights raised serious concerns about some ofthe modes tested; developers expected additional tests to alleviate those concerns. Sabreliner tests continued.
By early 1983, development was sufficiently advanced for Westinghouse to sign a production contract. The contract included a reliability incentive program in which the Air Force would use subjective criteria to award Westinghouse a fee every six months based on the reliability level achieved in the new radars. Although development was running a few months late, production schedules were expected to be achieved. By this time Westinghouse also began development work on a version suitable for foreign military sales.
In June 1983, Westinghouse was able to send General Dynamics an improved APG-66, modified to interact with a full-scale-development AMRAAM system. General Dynamics used this system to begin tests in its Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL). Conflicts in access to the SIL between the APG-68 and LANTIRN were resolved in the LANTERNs favor, to support efforts to meet its schedule.
As radars were produced and delivered, flight testing on MSIP F-16s began. Unfortunately, problems delayed the APG-68 program; two restructurings occurred in 1983 alone. Delays in software upgrades delayed flight tests at Edwards and Westinghouse. By late 1983, a growing shortage was expected to affect the development of other systems associated with the APG-68. To aggravate the shortage, the radars delivered did not meet their performance specifications. They were not even as capable as the APG-66 from which they were derived. Westinghouse had exceeded the ceiling on its fixed-price incentive full- development contract, effectively shifting the risk of additional cost increases solely to Westinghouse. But the shortages and performance shortfall continued to impose costs on MSIP.
The F-16 SPO responded to these problems in a variety of ways. It developed an incentive program to encourage more rapid production ofradars. As the situation deteriorated, it withheld progress payments and then contract profit on production deliveries. The Air Force paid award fees of zero on the reliability incentive program. General officers imposed intense pressure on their Westinghouse counterparts. The F-16 SPO negotiated no-cost contract-change proposals with Westinghouse to get additional work in compensation for the delays. Westinghouse replaced its general manager and developed a recovery program. Westinghouse and the Air Force restructured the schedule and agreed to

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split the cot of retrofitting capabilities not delivered when expected, to reflect who had
caused the elay.
In the end, Westinghouse succeeded in delivering production APG-8s as agreed for
installation in the first MSIP Stage U aircraft in April 1984. But design of the DMT remained incomplete and software in the radar could not meet key specifications. These problems persisted. APG-W performance did not reach the level ofAPG-66 performance until February 1985. Recovery schedules could not be met Software upgades continued, finally achieving the performance specification expected in October 1987. By that time, Westinghouse had agreed to pay for retrofits to bring previously delivered units up to par. Meanwhile, manufacturing problems with the key new components, the PSP and DMT, caused further problems and delayed design stability for the radar. Westinghouse brought these problems under control by late 1987.
Although these aspects of the APG-68 development had the largest negative effects on MSIP, several other events were also important. First, in late 1985, Westinghouse began development work to add VHSIC capability to the PSP, using funding from OSD and the F-16 SPO. Developers expected to introduce that capability into MSIP in 1991, suggesting a very aggressive, success-oriented program.
Second, initial tests of the airborne self-protectionjammer (ASPJ) raised the possibility of serious interference with radio frequencies important to the coordination of the APG-68 and AMRAAM systems. MSIP began to address this possibility in 1984. As tests accumulated, it appeared that the problem was not as serious as expected. Nonetheless, by early 1986, unavailability of ASPJ assets slowed the integration of the APG-68 into future MSIP blocks. The ASPJ problem persisted into 1987. In the meantime, MSIP initiated efforts to develop an advanced interference blanking unit (AIBU) and a radio-frequency (RF)- switchable notch filter to alleviate the problem. Efforts to achieve RF compatibility continued into 1988 and included coordination with the Navy at the Electromagnetic Compatibility Analysis Center at Annapolis, Maryland; antenna testing at the Rome Air Development Center at Rome, New York; and anechoic chamber testing ofAMRAAM and other munitions. In the end, such compatibility problems appear to have been resolved.
Third. in early 1986, OSD recommended that APG-66C radars be used in place of APG-68s in over half of the new F-16C/Ds included in the FYDP. Westinghouse countered with a proposal that the APG-68 be modified to reduce its cost. The most prominent chang would remove flight-line poammability in the PSP. The package, which became known as APG48M, reduced initial acquisition cost and increased reliability to reduce overall ownership cost for the system. In August 1986, the F-16 SPO received direction to use this

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somewhat los capable, but substantially les costly, version of the radar in Block 40 aircraft to be introduced in December 1988.
Finally, the Air Force sought fArther improvements in reliability: an increase in mean
flight time between maintenance actions (MFTBMA) from about 60 hr for the existing
system to over 100 hr and ultimately over 150 hr. It also wanted to cut the initial acquisition
cost of the radar by about 25 percent. The new radar would be known as the 4three-digit"
APG-68(, for breaching the three-digit MFTBMA threshold. Beginning in early 1987,
Westinghouse undertook an Air Force funded development effort to achieve these goals in
anticipation of providing a no-cost warranty agreement that rewarded Westinghouse for
performances above 100 hr. The new radar entered the F-16 on schedule in December 1988.
It achieved its goal during the following year, saving the Air Force $60 million and restoring 2
the mission-capable rate for F-16C/Is to over 90 percent. DIscusson
This very brief history reveals eight surprises, or probl


https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA281706.pdf

After reading this it seems completely implausible that Egyptian block 32 aircraft could have had sparrow capability early on. The component that allows pulse Doppler illumination seems to have been problematic till 1987 and the radar itself not to spec till that time. I wonder if this is why the C/D was qualified to fire sparrow for export so late?
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Unread post19 Oct 2022, 22:56

Might be useful detail on what it would take to put Sparrow on the F-16A (1976)

Alton Slay was head of the F-16 configuration steering group at this time.

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viperzerof-2

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Unread post22 Oct 2022, 00:57

A not exactly sparkling review of a AIM-7 equity F-16A
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Unread post22 Oct 2022, 12:55

Hearing is 1987 - before any AIM-7 capability existed anywhere outside of the initial ADF program. although maybe more specific to the Pakistan F-16As maybe.

The USAF F-16A OCU / ADF was AMRAAM capable the same time as the F-16Cs mainly due to the missile not being ready.

The ASPJ was abandoned by the USAF after testing it in an F-16A airframe and never saw light in the F-16 until the late 1990s (South Korea)

One reason for the unique AIM-7 pylon even in 1976 was to reduce drag - whether it even existed at this point in time cannot say. Not conclusive on whether the AIM-7 could be jettisoned - when for some reason everyone has to run away :roll: - doubt anyone knew in 1987.

Strange about the AIM-9 capability although not sure it is relevant - the F-16A OCU supported SEAM for the AIM-9L/M although that is not required in anyway to use them.

The APG-66 was originally nerfed in range terms due to USAF requirements based on cost and the political agenda. Not sure anything other than the F-15 really had real terms equal/better lookdown capability in 1980. The APG-68 however should have have have lived up to the original range potential with the major hardware changes including the addition of High PRF.
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