posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:49 AM
The F-16 is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft designed to be highly maneuverable in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack.
The Block 40 F-16 primary mission fills the air-to-surface attack role, while the Block 50’s primary mission is destruction and suppression of enemy
The M4.2-plus avionics upgrade combines both combat roles into a single fighter aircraft. The upgrade is being completed using spiral development,
meaning all program stakeholders, including developmental testers, contractors and operational units work together early in the process to ensure
testing is conducted more efficiently. This helps align operational objectives and is geared toward providing mature, stable systems to the warfighter
as quickly as possible.
"The M4.2-plus upgrade achieves the goal of the Air Force's F-16 Common Configuration Implementation Program to support common aircraft equipment
and core avionics software capabilities," said Shauna Urwiller, Global Power Fighters program manager from the 416th FLTS.
"This is the F-16 we've been waiting for,
" said Lt. Col. J. Todd Hicks, 85th TES commander. "When I first started flying (F-16s) we had
free-falling munitions and limited air-to-air (combat) capability. It's been an evolution of more than 20 years to be able to execute all tactical
combat missions, ranging from precision engagement to suppression of enemy air defenses to air superiority.
"Combined operational and developmental testing is intended to exercise the avionics and new hardware components to include the high-speed
anti-radiation missile-targeting system in operational scenarios," said Capt. Brian Griffin, M4.2-plus program flight test engineer for the 416th
When the final spiral is rolled out, in about two years, and then fully implemented operationally, Colonel Hicks said it will give combatant
commanders the capability to use one F-16 that can carry out the mission of two.
Full article at >> www.af.mil...
^^Edwards, Eglin combine testing on next-generation F-16
OVER CALIFORNIA -- Six F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation during combined developmental and operational testing of the M4.2-plus core avionics
suite upgrade to the aircraft. The formation consists of operational test aircraft from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and developmental test aircraft
from Edwards AFB, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tom Reynolds)
Click HERE to view a very hi-resolution picture of it
[edit on 6-8-2005 by Stealth Spy]