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New M4.2-plus avionics for next generation F-16's

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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 air defenses.

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 FLTS.

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 >>

^^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

Pretty cool

[edit on 6-8-2005 by Stealth Spy]

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 02:42 AM
I like the F-16, and it would be nice if they would get some more upgrades to the next model... In my opinion the F-16 is surprisingly maneuverable...

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 02:52 AM
Hmmm, my immediate thoughts on this;

With this modification the F-16 will join the F-18E, Typhoon and Gripen as a true swing role fighter and it should ensure that the F-16 remains competitive, which spells bad news for the export ambitions of the newer types as the bird will now have the required operational capability to go hand in hand with US political pressure to buy it and the existing infrastructure and type familiarity with F-16 operators already out there.

This should ensure the F-16 is around for a very long time and might even hurt the sales prospects of the F-35, which would be odd given that they both belong to Lockheed.

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:45 PM
True, but then again, maybe they don't want to risk to only have the X-35 in service. Come on it sin't even combat expirienced YET...

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 12:55 PM
If you only ever bought something that was combat experienced you'd never ever buy anything new, there'd be Sopwith Camels in service all over the planet

posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:13 PM
To me the F-16 always have been a dull aircraft, much like the M16 Assault Rifle for example, it's so common world wide and relatively plain looking compared to even the F-18 or F-15.

The manauverability was never that breathtaking either, I was more impressed with seeing the F-15 fly, still a great aircraft, very user friendly and comfortable to fly.

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