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Posted: 4/13/2017 11:45:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/15/2017 9:59:33 AM EST by KA3B]
U.S. Air Force Authorizes Extended Service Life for F-16 New flight hour limit supports F-16 operational life to 2048 and beyond

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Air Force authorized extending the service life of the Lockheed Martin F-16’s designed service life to 12,000 Equivalent Flight Hours — far beyond the aircraft’s original design service life of 8,000 hours.

Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also reduced projected service life costs for the Block 40-52 fleet, paving the way for safe, cost-effective F-16 flight operations decades into the future.

“This accomplishment is the result of more than seven years of test, development, design, analysis, and partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin,” said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program. “Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly-capable and affordable 4th-Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers.”

Validation of the extended flight hour limit directly supports the SLEP goal of extending the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft. SLEP and related avionics upgrades to the Air Force’s F-16C/D fleet can safely and effectively augment the current fighter force structure as U.S. and allied combat air fleets recapitalize with F-35 Lightning IIs.

A second phase, or Part II, of the F-16 SLEP airworthiness process continues with the request for Military Type Certificate (MTC), which will be submitted to the Air Force’s Technical Airworthiness Authority in the coming months. Part II seeks to validate further extending the F-16’s operational life based on final service life analysis from extended durability testing.

About the F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 continues to prove itself as the world’s most successful, combat-proven, multi-role fighter aircraft, having served with 28 customers around the world. The F-16V, the latest F-16 avionics upgrade configuration, includes numerous enhancements designed to keep the F-16 at the forefront of international security. The F-16 Block 70/72, the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, combines capability and structural upgrades into the most advanced F-16 production aircraft ever offered.

For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com/f16

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 1:52:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 1:53:53 PM EST
The Viper is quite the hardy little aircraft.
Link Posted: 4/13/2017 1:56:47 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rugerlvr:
The Viper is quite the hardy little aircraft.
View Quote
or the f35 is a POS
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:00:32 AM EST
http://www.defensenews.com/articles/lockheed-says-it-can-double-f-16s-service-life-but-will-have-to-compete-for-opportunity

F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin announced early Wednesday that the Air Force had authorized service life extension work, which could keep the fighter jets flying past 2048.
The service life extension program (SLEP) will encompass lengthening the lifespan of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft from 8,000 to 12,000 flight hours.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:29:44 AM EST
Since wehave not been in a war with a major advisory since North Vietnam the arms race has really slowed.

Technically the First Gulf War does not count as most of the equipment we use today was just off the assembly line.


Still, flying aircraft for almost 80 years (BUFFs) is amazing.


We'll scramble and be caught off guard in the next major war.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:32:18 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/15/2017 10:34:05 AM EST by AeroE]
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:41:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/15/2017 10:44:50 AM EST by azjeeper]
This thread needs pics.
Luke Viper from last week, departing the auxiliary field in Gila Bend.



One more

Link Posted: 4/15/2017 10:51:18 AM EST
Its a shame we just don't buy brand new Vipers and Strike Eagles since the lines are still open.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:15:12 AM EST
A few super stealthy, super expensive, fifth generation planes and a whole lot of less expensive but extremely capable fourth generation planes makes a lot of sense.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:18:13 AM EST
The F16 is just a badass plane. Our enemies have been and are still scared shitless by it.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:21:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:28:44 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1811guy:
The F16 is just a badass plane. Our enemies have been and are still scared shitless by it.
View Quote
In its current role (bomber), its crap. Pathetic

It makes me almost puke everytime I see one.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:30:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CFII:
Its a shame we just don't buy brand new Vipers and Strike Eagles since the lines are still open.
View Quote
Also a shame that the currently produced 15s and 16s (and 18s for that matter) have become so damn expensive. Maybe it's an economy of scale thing? Is it possible to have adequate (not necessarily the most cutting-edge) technology (radar, commo, ECM, datalink)  in the 15 and 16 and 18 platforms without driving the costs through the roof?

To me it's like buying a new truck: Oh, you don't want power bluetooth integrated big brother electronic everything? Well too bad, fuck you, because that's all we're making.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:32:45 AM EST
Good. I guess the Air Force isn't totally retarded, then.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:39:00 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gurthy:

Also a shame that the currently produced 15s and 16s (and 18s for that matter) have become so damn expensive. Maybe it's an economy of scale thing? Is it possible to have adequate (not necessarily the most cutting-edge) technology (radar, commo, ECM, datalink)  in the 15 and 16 and 18 platforms without driving the costs through the roof?

To me it's like buying a new truck: Oh, you don't want power bluetooth integrated big brother electronic everything? Well too bad, fuck you, because that's all we're making.
View Quote
Even "cheap" planes built with mostly off the shelf parts cost about the same. The example I'm thinking of is the textron scorpion vs new production F-16's. The cost savings are supposed to be in operational costs.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:45:41 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 1811guy:
The F16 is just a badass plane. Our enemies have been and are still scared shitless by it.
View Quote
This. Not to badmouth any other US aircraft but the F16 is a sexy aircraft.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:49:46 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rabidus:
Since wehave not been in a war with a major advisory since North Vietnam the arms race has really slowed.

Technically the First Gulf War does not count as most of the equipment we use today was just off the assembly line.


Still, flying aircraft for almost 80 years (BUFFs) is amazing.


We'll scramble and be caught off guard in the next major war.
View Quote
Those scrambles make some amazing things. Look how fast the C130 and the GPW went from concept to in theater and the footprint they have left behind.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:50:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TaylorWSO:


or the f35 is a POS
View Quote
I hear the F-35 is like alien technology.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 11:55:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By trails-end:
A few super stealthy, super expensive, fifth generation planes and a whole lot of less expensive but extremely capable fourth generation planes makes a lot of sense.
View Quote
I agree.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:29:52 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:33:02 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ERizzo:


In its current role (bomber), its crap. Pathetic

It makes me almost puke everytime I see one.
View Quote
That doesn't mean it's a bad plane. It just means it isn't being used properly. Kind of like using a hammer as a wrench.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:35:48 AM EST
Missile truck for the f35 up close calling targets.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:43:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:51:37 AM EST
But I thought the F-35 was supposed to replace the F-16.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:52:37 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ERizzo:


In its current role (bomber), its crap. Pathetic

It makes me almost puke everytime I see one.
View Quote
Well thats war nowdays. Bomb the hell out of the enemys Air Defense on day one and air war is over.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:52:46 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hobbsar:
But I thought the F-35 was supposed to replace the F-16.
View Quote
it'll be ready soon...
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:52:48 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AeroE:
A Scorpion in acceptable trim for US production will have the same engineering and production costs as a competitor.

Everyone gets to lug the same requirements. Besides that, the Textron airplane is not a fighter, it's not even an adequate trainer. Plus it's just plain not relevant, just a minor distraction.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By Bones45:
Originally Posted By Gurthy:

Also a shame that the currently produced 15s and 16s (and 18s for that matter) have become so damn expensive. Maybe it's an economy of scale thing? Is it possible to have adequate (not necessarily the most cutting-edge) technology (radar, commo, ECM, datalink)  in the 15 and 16 and 18 platforms without driving the costs through the roof?

To me it's like buying a new truck: Oh, you don't want power bluetooth integrated big brother electronic everything? Well too bad, fuck you, because that's all we're making.
Even "cheap" planes built with mostly off the shelf parts cost about the same. The example I'm thinking of is the textron scorpion vs new production F-16's. The cost savings are supposed to be in operational costs.
A Scorpion in acceptable trim for US production will have the same engineering and production costs as a competitor.

Everyone gets to lug the same requirements. Besides that, the Textron airplane is not a fighter, it's not even an adequate trainer. Plus it's just plain not relevant, just a minor distraction.
Pretty much my point. They are flogging it as cheaper, which it may be in the long run due to reduced operating costs but the initial purchase cost is roughly the same This is not to mention the sacrifices made that you reference. Essentially the savings are nil and the f-16 isn't really overpriced after all.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:54:08 AM EST
The first USAF F-16 squadron became operational in October, 1980. If the F-16 flies until 2048, that means it'll have a service life of 68 years!
That'd be like the air force still flying P-51s into 2010.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 8:54:41 AM EST
Originally Posted By KA3B:
U.S. Air Force Authorizes Extended Service Life for F-16 New flight hour limit supports F-16 operational life to 2048 and beyond

FORT WORTH, Texas, April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Air Force authorized extending the service life of the Lockheed Martin F-16’s designed service life to 12,000 Equivalent Flight Hours — far beyond the aircraft’s original design service life of 8,000 hours.

Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also reduced projected service life costs for the Block 40-52 fleet, paving the way for safe, cost-effective F-16 flight operations decades into the future.

“This accomplishment is the result of more than seven years of test, development, design, analysis, and partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin,” said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program. “Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly-capable and affordable 4th-Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers.”

Validation of the extended flight hour limit directly supports the SLEP goal of extending the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft. SLEP and related avionics upgrades to the Air Force’s F-16C/D fleet can safely and effectively augment the current fighter force structure as U.S. and allied combat air fleets recapitalize with F-35 Lightning IIs.

A second phase, or Part II, of the F-16 SLEP airworthiness process continues with the request for Military Type Certificate (MTC), which will be submitted to the Air Force’s Technical Airworthiness Authority in the coming months. Part II seeks to validate further extending the F-16’s operational life based on final service life analysis from extended durability testing.

About the F-16 Fighting Falcon

The F-16 continues to prove itself as the world’s most successful, combat-proven, multi-role fighter aircraft, having served with 28 customers around the world. The F-16V, the latest F-16 avionics upgrade configuration, includes numerous enhancements designed to keep the F-16 at the forefront of international security. The F-16 Block 70/72, the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, combines capability and structural upgrades into the most advanced F-16 production aircraft ever offered.

For additional information, visit our website: www.lockheedmartin.com/f16

About Lockheed Martin

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 97,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com
View Quote
Good
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 9:01:47 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By vanvideo:
The first USAF F-16 squadron became operational in October, 1980. If the F-16 flies until 2048, that means it'll have a service life of 68 years!
That'd be like the air force still flying P-51s into 2010.
View Quote
That's cute. The KC-135s went operational in 1957 and will gas up the last F-16 on its way to AMRG.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 9:53:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2017 9:55:01 AM EST by KA3B]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hobbsar:
But I thought the F-35 was supposed to replace the F-16.
View Quote
F-35 deploys to Europe for the first time
http://www.usafe.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1153203/f-35-deploys-to-europe-for-the-first-time/


An F-35A Lightning II from the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, lands at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, April 15, 2017.
The aircraft arrival marks the first F-35A fighter training deployment to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility or any overseas location as a flying training deployment.
(U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Eric Burks)


RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- F-35A Lightning IIs, Airmen and accompanying equipment arrived at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, today, marking the aircraft’s first overseas training deployment to Europe.

The F-35As are from the 34th Fighter Squadron, 388th Fighter Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 466th Fighter Squadron, 419th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and will conduct air training over the next several weeks with other Europe-based aircraft in support of the European Reassurance Initiative.

“This is an incredible opportunity for USAFE Airmen and our NATO allies to host this first overseas training deployment of the F-35A aircraft,” said Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Air Forces Africa commander. “As we and our joint F-35 partners bring this aircraft into our inventories, it’s important that we train together to integrate into a seamless team capable of defending the sovereignty of allied nations.

As part of the natural progression of the F-35 program, an overseas training deployment has been part of the Air Force’s plan since the F-35A was declared combat capable last year.

“RAF Lakenheath will be the first overseas beddown location for the F-35A, this deployment allows our pilots and maintainers to learn more about the European operating environment and will improve our interoperability with partners in the region” Wolters added.

As part of the training deployment, the aircraft will forward deploy to NATO nations to maximize training opportunities, build partnerships with allied air forces and gain a broad familiarity of Europe’s diverse operating conditions. The introduction of the premier fifth-generation fighter to the European area of responsibility brings with it state-of-the-arts sensors, interoperability, and a broad array of advanced air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions that will help maintain the fundamental sovereignty rights of all nations.

The transatlantic flight for this training deployment was supported by Air Mobility Command and the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England. Multiple air refueling aircraft from four different bases offloaded more than 400,000 pounds of fuel during the "tanker bridge" from the United States to Europe. Additionally, C-17 and C-5 aircraft moved airlift support, moving maintenance equipment and personnel.

Photos and videos of the deployment are available at https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/usafef35a

For more information, contact +49 (0) 6371-47-6558 or via e-mail at usafepao.pao@us.af.mil. If after duty hours, please call +49 (0) 1624-25-5428 or send an e-mail to usafepa.pastaffdutyofficer@us.af.mil.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 10:59:15 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By GreenBastard:
it'll be ready soon...
View Quote
Then why are we planning for such a lengthy extension for the F-16?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:06:50 AM EST
Lockheed loves SLEP. They will milk that goose every chance they get. Doesn't matter if its air, land or sea.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:30:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2017 11:35:49 AM EST by Mike_c130]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By hobbsar:
But I thought the F-35 was supposed to replace the F-16.
View Quote
It still could. The modifications to the F-16 under the SLEP are structural mods to ensure that the aircraft can continue flying the projected number of hours/year up until 2048 without physically falling apart. That does not mean that the aircraft will have the required capabilities to carry out the mission, or even survive the threat, on a battlefield well before that time. Russia could export a lot of air defense equipment that may or may not make survival in an F-16 less than assured.

ETA: The F-16s flying today are a far cry from the first F-16As delivered. The entire avionics suite (including the flight controls) are different, and even the airframe itself has changed significantly, if not in ways that are obvious. New engines, the capability to employ air-ground ordnance, new radar, new missiles, etc. The combined development costs on the upgrades probably exceed those for the original F-16A/B.

Mike
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:31:57 AM EST
I thought they had already started decommissioning most of the 16s and using them as target drones.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:33:55 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Atomic_Ferret:
I thought they had already started decommissioning most of the 16s and using them as target drones.
View Quote
I think it's As that are being QF'ed.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:39:10 AM EST
In this thread 95% of the people commenting have no idea about DoD procurement, RDT&E, O&M, and SLEP programs. 2-3 people will try to be the lone voices of reason based off of years of industry experience and will be curb stomped into the ground by the ARFCOM army rabal rousing in their basement fortresses of masturbatory fantasy solitude.

How did I do?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:48:41 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Gurthy:

Also a shame that the currently produced 15s and 16s (and 18s for that matter) have become so damn expensive. Maybe it's an economy of scale thing? Is it possible to have adequate (not necessarily the most cutting-edge) technology (radar, commo, ECM, datalink)  in the 15 and 16 and 18 platforms without driving the costs through the roof?
View Quote
A big cost for these aircraft are just how they're made. They require a lot of 'touch' labor and there's just no way around that. They were designed to be put together in the 1970s by the thousand and some stuff in manufacturing has changed in the meantime.

Running a line at low rate that still requires expensive and skilled labor while managing all the logistics that go into a complex product must be a huge undertaking. Spinning up to a higher production rate would probably be quite the endeavor.

It's no surprise that SLEPs seem to be all the rage. The DoD doesn't have to ask for money to buy new aircraft and the manufacturers don't have to invest in a product without a clear future customer base. Whether the end result is a long term cost effective measure is another question.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 11:49:58 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ERizzo:
In its current role (bomber), its crap. Pathetic

It makes me almost puke everytime I see one.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ERizzo:
Originally Posted By 1811guy:
The F16 is just a badass plane. Our enemies have been and are still scared shitless by it.
In its current role (bomber), its crap. Pathetic

It makes me almost puke everytime I see one.
You need to read the book Viper Pilot. The F-16C/J is doing yeoman's work as a Wild Weasel.

Basically, the F-16 is today's F-4 Phantom.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 12:20:29 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Local:
A big cost for these aircraft are just how they're made. They require a lot of 'touch' labor and there's just no way around that. They were designed to be put together in the 1970s by the thousand and some stuff in manufacturing has changed in the meantime.

Running a line at low rate that still requires expensive and skilled labor while managing all the logistics that go into a complex product must be a huge undertaking. Spinning up to a higher production rate would probably be quite the endeavor.

It's no surprise that SLEPs seem to be all the rage. The DoD doesn't have to ask for money to buy new aircraft and the manufacturers don't have to invest in a product without a clear future customer base. Whether the end result is a long term cost effective measure is another question.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Local:
Originally Posted By Gurthy:

Also a shame that the currently produced 15s and 16s (and 18s for that matter) have become so damn expensive. Maybe it's an economy of scale thing? Is it possible to have adequate (not necessarily the most cutting-edge) technology (radar, commo, ECM, datalink)  in the 15 and 16 and 18 platforms without driving the costs through the roof?
A big cost for these aircraft are just how they're made. They require a lot of 'touch' labor and there's just no way around that. They were designed to be put together in the 1970s by the thousand and some stuff in manufacturing has changed in the meantime.

Running a line at low rate that still requires expensive and skilled labor while managing all the logistics that go into a complex product must be a huge undertaking. Spinning up to a higher production rate would probably be quite the endeavor.

It's no surprise that SLEPs seem to be all the rage. The DoD doesn't have to ask for money to buy new aircraft and the manufacturers don't have to invest in a product without a clear future customer base. Whether the end result is a long term cost effective measure is another question.
Plus the SLEP is likely 3400 money.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:00:51 PM EST
This is what the USAF should invest in.

Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:13:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2017 1:18:41 PM EST by USAF77]
Lockheed can double the life, for a price. Boeing can make a twin tail with a RCS of a condo building into a sorta stealth...for a price. They can make a bunch more Growlers that cost as much as the new fighters they are supposed to growl for...for a price.

Everyone is cashing in on the F35 supposed failure, even tho it hasnt failed anything. It was the biggest aviation technological hurdle we had to over come since the B-29 and remember how many B-29s went down to tech failures? Hundreds. But it went on to be a war winner.

We dont need more 4'th gen fighters. But I get the feel this is more for the current foreign Viper operators who want to say they have Gen 4 & 1/2 Vipers. There may very well be a market for it there tho I dont know how the avionics tech transfers would work out. Theres some sophisticated code in those upgrades.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:16:19 PM EST
If you fly it less then it will last longer?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:22:26 PM EST
Will the F-16 be the first aircraft we run out of model designation letters for.... we are up to F-16V ?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:22:57 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
This is what the USAF should invest in.

https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/F-16I-out-of-shelter.jpg
View Quote
Export models? Uh, no thanks.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:28:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mike_c130:


It still could. The modifications to the F-16 under the SLEP are structural mods to ensure that the aircraft can continue flying the projected number of hours/year up until 2048 without physically falling apart. That does not mean that the aircraft will have the required capabilities to carry out the mission, or even survive the threat, on a battlefield well before that time. Russia could export a lot of air defense equipment that may or may not make survival in an F-16 less than assured.

ETA: The F-16s flying today are a far cry from the first F-16As delivered. The entire avionics suite (including the flight controls) are different, and even the airframe itself has changed significantly, if not in ways that are obvious. New engines, the capability to employ air-ground ordnance, new radar, new missiles, etc. The combined development costs on the upgrades probably exceed those for the original F-16A/B.

Mike
View Quote
When you say survival is less than assured do you mean 10% losses or 90%? And what is their loss rate in the defense over friendly territory?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:30:56 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By USAF77:
Lockheed can double the life, for a price. Boeing can make a twin tail with a RCS of a condo building into a sorta stealth...for a price. They can make a bunch more Growlers that cost as much as the new fighters they are supposed to growl for...for a price.

Everyone is cashing in on the F35 supposed failure, even tho it hasnt failed anything. It was the biggest aviation technological hurdle we had to over come since the B-29 and remember how many B-29s went down to tech failures? Hundreds. But it went on to be a war winner.

We dont need more 4'th gen fighters. But I get the feel this is more for the current foreign Viper operators who want to say they have Gen 4 & 1/2 Vipers. There may very well be a market for it there tho I dont know how the avionics tech transfers would work out. Theres some sophisticated code in those upgrades.
View Quote
I'm surprised the AF taught you how important the B-29 was for airdroppimg naval mines.

But I'm not sure why you think the F-35 is so important. What do you plan to do with it and against who, that requires 2,400 of them?
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:33:48 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Element94:
Will the F-16 be the first aircraft we run out of model designation letters for.... we are up to F-16V ?
View Quote
Naaaah. VA, VB, VC....VW.
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:35:13 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rugerlvr:
Export models? Uh, no thanks.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Rugerlvr:
Originally Posted By ARDunstan:
This is what the USAF should invest in.

https://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/F-16I-out-of-shelter.jpg
Export models? Uh, no thanks.
Not export models.

Block 70
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 1:36:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/16/2017 1:37:34 PM EST by AeroE]
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