Aug 23, 2014

F-16V Passes Radar Integration Milestone

Lockheed Martin has moved forward with a major milestone on its F-16V upgrade.
The company completed a Critical Design Review to ensure Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) design has met requirements handed down by the US Air Force. The improved radar capabilities brought by SABR are at the core of the F-16V modification.
Taiwan is slated to be the first customer to receive the F-16V upgrade. In addition to SABR, the upgrade enhances the electronic warfare suite, mission computer and cockpit.
While Lockheed and US officials insist radar upgrades for Taiwan’s F-16 fleet are still on track, officials in Taiwan have expressed concerns over a US Air Force decision to back out of a major avionics update known as CAPES.
Northrop was selected by Lockheed over competitor Raytheon to provide the radar upgrade in a hotly contested battle. The upgrade market for F-16s, operated by 25 countries, is expected to remain a fertile growth area for companies at a time when new jet production is coming down.
The F-16V will be the most advanced model of the F-16, at a time when the legacy models are showing wear and tear. The US Air Force has ordered all F-16B and D models be checked for damage after a series of cracks grounded over half its F-16D fleet.

1 comment:

  1. Taiwan's F-16s can't be upgraded fast enough. The USAF simply cannot ignore the upgrade activity required for a significant portion of the F-16 inventory. The F-16B/D grounding should be used to pull some airframes for a full rebuild as the "V" upgrade is accomplished. Many F-16s will require a full survey and re-certification of the airframe. All F-16 upgrades should bring them up to a Generation 4.5+ category with a high interoperability with new 5th Generation fighters. Tactics for HI/LO mix for F-35 and F-16V mix should be developed and practiced at Red Flag.