F-16D Block 52
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: F-16 Peace Sky, F-16D Block 52+, F-16D Block 52M, F-16D Fighting Falcon, F-16DJ, F-16IQ, KF-16, Peace Drive I and Peace Vector VII
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: F-16 Fighting Falcon
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Family Members: F-16 Block 70
, F-16A Fighting Falcon
, F-16B Fighting Falcon
, F-16C Block 32
, F-16C Block 40
, F-16C Block 42
, F-16C Block 50
, F-16C Block 52
, F-16C Fighting Falcon
, F-16D Block 32
, F-16D Block 40
, F-16D Block 42
, F-16D Block 50
, F-16D Fighting Falcon
, F-16E Desert Falcon
, F-16F Desert Falcon
, F-16I Soufa
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Description: The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a lightweight, compact fighter aircraft designed for air superiority performing a wide range of military missions ranging from air defense to air-to-ground strike missions. More than 4,000 F-16s have been or will be produced for more than 24 nations worldwide. The first F-16A achieved initial operational capability in 1979. As of 2004, more than 11 million flight hours have been logged by F16s from 20 air forces worldwide. The United States Air Force remains the world's largest operator for the type with more than 1,200 units in service of all models. USAF's Block 50/52 cumulative mishap rate was 2.3 losses/mishaps per 100,000 flight hours in FY2004. The aircraft is scheduled for replacement by the far more capable F-35A Joint Strike Fighter beginning in 2015 through 2025.
In air-to-air engagements the F-16 is highly maneuverable and in the air-to-surface role the aircraft has demonstrated the capability to accommodate any guided and unguided weapon such as laser guided bombs and a variety of air-to-surface missiles. It carries internally a 20mm M61A1 gun for close-in air-to-air engagements. Besides, the F-16A/B is able to carry the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile while the F-16C/D can be armed with the medium-range AIM-120 AMRAAM missile. To deliver precision guided munitions the Falcon can accommodate the LANTIRN targeting/navigation pod system, as well as the LITENING and the most recent Sniper XR. The targeting and navigation pods have provided day and night, all-weather strike capability to the F-16 aircraft fleet all along its service life.
The F-16C/D multi-role fighter can fly deep inside enemy territory, deliver precision guided munitions in non-visual conditions and defend itself against enemy aircraft even in day and night, adverse weather. This performance was demonstrated for the first time during the Gulf War in 1991. F-16C/Ds played a vital role during air campaigns over the former Yugoslavia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), and Iraq (2003).
The two-seat Block 52 F-16D, also known as F-16DJ, is a Block 42 follow-on with more powerful engine models and new weapon options. The US Air Force has integrated the HTS pod in some F-16DJs for suppression of enemy air defenses using the HARM missile. The Block 52 F-16D was deployed in 1991. The US Air Force Block 52 F-16D will receive the advanced Sniper XR targeting/navigation pod replacing older systems currently in the US inventory, as well as software updates for integration of smart munitions such as AGM-154, JDAM bombs, and AGM-158. The US Air Force expects the F-16DJ to remain in service until 2025.
Falcon STAR, F-16 Structure Augmentation Roadmap, program will see US Air Force F-16 fleet receiving parts kits to strengthen their structure. This measure will enable the F-16 aircraft to attain its projected 8,000-hours of service life through 2025 for the US Air Force, when the entire fleet should be dismantled. Falcon STAR program is valued at $1 billion. The parts kits involved in this program number 79,000. Ogden Air Logistics Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is where modification work is taking place. Starting in 2006, F-16s for European countries will undergo Falcon STAR modification. All in all, more than 2,000 F-16s belonging to the United States, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Israel, Greece, Singapore, Thailand and Bahrain will be modified through 2014.
The governments of Greece and the United States signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for the sale of 30 F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft to Greece on December 13, 2005. The agreement valued at $2 billion also included an option for an additional 10 F-16s. The Hellenic Air Force was expected to use the 20 single-seat F-16Cs and 10 two-seat F-16Ds to supplement its existing F-16 fleet. Final delivery to the Greek Air Force was scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2009.
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