USAF F-16s to get Ma­jor Life

India Strategic - - INDUSTRY -

FORT WORTH, TEXAS. The US Air Force F-16 jet fight­ers are set to get a ma­jor boost to their de­signed ser­vice life from the orig­i­nal 8,000 hours to a whop­ping 12,000 equiv­a­lent flight hours. There­fore, fol­low­ing the F-16 Ser­vice Life Ex­ten­sion Pro­gramme (SLEP) struc­tural mod­i­fi­ca­tions, US Air Force could safely op­er­ate Block 40-52 air­craft to 2048 and be­yond. The USAF 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 US Air Force and Lock­heed Martin,” said Su­san Ouzts, vice pres­i­dent of Lock­heed Martin’s F-16 pro­gramme. Com­bined with F-16 avion­ics mod­erni­sa­tion pro­grammes like the F-16V, SLEP mod­i­fi­ca­tions demon­strate that the Fight­ing Fal­con re­mains a highly ca­pa­ble and af­ford­able

4th Gen­er­a­tion op­tion for the US

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 US and al­lied com­bat air fleets re­cap­i­talise 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

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