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The US Air Force is hoping to upgrade its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon "aggressors" so that those aircraft can better replicate enemy fighters, the service's Air Combat Command (ACC) says.
"To date, generally, it is considered that the aggressors under-replicate the current threat," says Major Gary Barker, the ACC training operations division's F-16 functional area and realistic training manager. "It's very difficult for the aggressors to provide the threat picture that we think we would see in near-peer combat."
In an effort to rectify the problem, ACC hopes to upgrade the older Block 30 and 32 F-16s used by the 18th and 64th Aggressor Squadrons to the System Capabilities Upgrade-8 (SCU-8) configuration, Barker says. SCU-8 will allow the USAF to incorporate a helmet-mounted cueing system and a new center display unit, which Barker describes as having functionality similar to an Apple iPad.
"With that, you can simulate missile WEZs [weapons employment zones] and provide more accurate cueing real-time that can aid in kill removal and weapons assessment airborne," Barker says.