Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: KF-16C/D
Origin: United States of America
BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin* and Northrop Grumman (*) lead contractor
Parent System: F-16 Fighting Falcon
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Family Members: 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 Block 70
, F-16C Block 72
, F-16C Fighting Falcon
, F-16D Block 32
, F-16D Block 40
, F-16D Block 42
, F-16D Block 50
, F-16D Block 52
, F-16D Block 70
, F-16D Block 72
, 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 KF-16 is an upgraded version of the F-16 aircraft managed by BAE Systems and the United States Air Force (USAF). The upgraded version features a variety of enhancements including an active electronically scanned array (AESA), upgraded mission computer, and upgrades to the cockpit. The KF-16 includes all the improvements identified by the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) to fill the gap between current capabilities and those of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In August 2012, the Republic of Korea (RoK) selected BAE Systems to upgrade the avionics and electronic systems for its fleet of F-16C/D aircraft with more than 130 aircraft involved. In April 2013, the RoK selected the Raytheon Advanced Combat Radar (RACR) for 134 aircraft with deliveries due to start in 2016 under a $2.5 billion deal. In January 2014 Raytheon announced that was responsible for the RACR radar, ALR-69A all-digital radar warning receiver, advanced mission computing technology and weapon systems integration for the upgraded KF-16C/D aircraft fleet. In June 2014 BAE Systems started the upgrade work on the first two South Korean F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft. The first upgraded KF-16 is expected to take to the skies in 2016 and enter into service with the RoKAF by 2018. BAE Systems is offering this upgrade to other existing F-16 operators worlwide.
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