Feb 17 2012

New F-16V version signal that F-35 program is in trouble?

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 19:33 onder Concurrentie, F-16

SINGAPORE, Feb. 15, 2012 – Lockheed Martin unveiled a new version of the F-16 today at the Singapore Airshow. The F-16V will feature enhancements including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an upgraded mission computer and architecture, and improvements to the cockpit – all capabilities identified by the U.S. Air Force and several international customers for future improvements.

With nearly 4,500 F-16s delivered, this is a natural step in the evolution of the world’s most successful 4th generation fighter. The Fighting Falcon program has continually evolved as it began with the F-16 A/B as the lightweight fighter then transitioned to F-16 C/D and Block 60 versions as customers’ requirements changed.

AESA radars offer significant operational capability improvements. Lockheed Martin has developed an innovative solution to affordably retrofit this key technology into existing F-16s. The F-16V configuration is an option for new production jets and elements of the upgrade are available to most earlier-model F-16s. The “V” designation is derived from Viper, the name fighter pilots have called the F-16 from its beginnings.

“We believe this F-16V will satisfy our customers’ emerging requirements and prepare them to better interoperate with the 5th generation fighters, the F-35 and F-22,” said George Standridge, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ vice president of business development.

The F-16 is the choice of 26 nations. The F-16 program has been characterized by unprecedented international cooperation among governments, air forces and aerospace industries.

Source: Press Release Lockheed Martin; 15-feb-2012

Comments editor:
Important reason is to generate new order to fill the hole left by the delayed F-35 production. It seems Lockheed Martin is looking for new opportunities that would carry the F-16 line through 2015 and beyond.
Key item of the new version is the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and a modernized cockpit and mission computer.
Analyst are seeing it as a signal: when Lockheed Martin actively promotes the F-16 in the market place, that will be a sure acknowledgement that the F-35 programme is in serious trouble and they don’t want to loss their fighter jet market share. When new F-16V Viper jets are sold as a replacement of old F-16A/B/C/D, these sales will block future sales of new F-35’s.
In that case the new F-16V is bad news for the world wide F-35 industrial supply chain, that has heavily invested in F-35 production facilities.

Comments RSS

Reageer ook

Je moet ingelogd zijn om een reactie te kunnen plaatsen.