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Lockheed Martin and the US Air Force are working on implementing an automatic ground collision avoidance system (auto-GCAS) for the service's F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet that is set to become operational in 2014.
The system will also include a pilot activated recovery system that would be able to return the jet to straight and level flight at the push of a button, should the operator become disoriented.
"We expect to have the production deliveries out in the field as part of the M6.2+ OFP [Operational Flight Programme] for the USAF," says Bill Hord, a Lockheed F-16 programme director. "It fields in early 2014.
The system could theoretically recover the aircraft as low as 50 feet, pilots testing the system recommended setting a higher base altitude to the it.