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Thursday, February 16, 2012

LOCKMART UNVEILS THE “NEW” F-16V, STRATEGICALLY TAILORED NOT TO COMPETE WITH THE F-35

Posted on February 15, 2012 by
aviationintel.com
Lockheed gave birth in public to their highly
conservative F-16V concept today at the
Singapore Air Show. Although it is not fully
clear exactly what the “new” F-16 will
feature, what we do know is that it will be
fitted with a SABR or RACR Active
Electronically Scanned Array radar, new
brains and crew interface. Along with these
evolutions we can probably assume it will
be toting a digital self-protection and
Electronic Service Measures (ESM) suite,
along with the latest commercially available
Helmet Mounted Sight (HMS) and other
cool gadgets. The aircraft will most likely
leverage the redesigned structural elements
of the F-16E/F as well and possibly feature
the GE-F110-132 motor as an option. In fact
I would venture to guess that this aircraft is
really a base model configuration from
which customers can customize to fit their
needs. Something like an “open
architecture” F-16. Of important note is that
it sounds like Lockheed will offer an
upgrade based on the V for older F-16s as
well. It will be good for the DoD if other
nations do sign on as it will diffuse costs of
such a program, one that is looming large
for the USAF due to continued F-35 delays.
Further, by funnel a ton of separate
upgrade programs into a single common
one, Lockheed can lower unit costs across
the board.
This aircraft cannot be compared to the
Boeing F-15SE concept as it appears there
is no attempt by Lockheed to make the
F-16V stealthy. This makes all too much
sense as the survivability offered by stealth,
even from only certain hemispheres, is
something that their marquee fighter, the
F-35, will continue to monopolize within
their product stable. Interestingly, the
F-16V would be the perfect cost-effective
and low risk workhorse for the USAF if we
had bought enough F-22, which at $150M
per copy now seems like a steal, and
continue to develop America’s Next
Generation Bomber. To bad the DoD’s one-
size-fits-all-at-all-costs obsession makes
this winning and affordable “high-low”
procurement strategy dead on arrival.
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/
press-releases/2012/february/0215aero-
F-16V.html
*Thanks so much to valued Aviationintel

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