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Lockheed Martin's Fighting Falcon Evolves With New F-16V
by Staff Writers
Singapore (SPX) Feb 27, 2012

illustration only

Lockheed Martin has unveiled a new version of the F-16 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.

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