Daily Archives: April 5, 2016

Finmeccanica Signs 28 Eurofighter Aircraft Deal With Kuwait


03:40 PM, April 5, 2016

Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Shaikh Gen. Khalid Al Jarrah Al Sabah

The Kuwait Ministry of Defence and Finmeccanica have signed a contract for the supply of 28 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, to be built in Italy.

The intergovernmental contract was signed in presence of Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti and his Kuwaiti counterpart, Shaikh Gen. Khalid Al Jarrah Al Sabah Tuesday, the company said in a statement.

The contract includes E-Scan radar (electronic scanning radar) developed by the European consortium EuroRADAR and supplies in the areas of logistics, operational support and ‘training of flight crews and ground staff , which will be conducted in collaboration with the’ Italian Air Force .The agreement includes upgrading of infrastructure in Kuwait necessary operations of the aircraft.

Kuwait will have to pay KD 2.6 billion (US $8.6 billion) for the purchase of 28 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets.

Source defenseworld.net


$307 million per plane!

See related post:

RAF to field retained Tranche 1 Typhoons as stand-alone air defence force

See details of Eurofighter Typhoon: HERE

Image: images.itv.com

Pentagon trying to stop Chinese air defense zone in disputed sea: Gertz

on April 5, 2016 in  

Amid signs China will soon impose an air exclusion zone over the South China Sea, the Pentagon is trying to head off another destabilizing action by Beijing in the increasingly tense region.

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work last week made clear the United States would not recognize China’s imposition of an air defense identification zone over the sea.

“We will not recognize the ADIZ in the South China Sea,” Work told the Washington Post.

The deputy defense secretary noted that a similar Chinese strategic move in the nearby East China Sea also remains unrecognized by the United States.

Of plans for the creation of a new ADIZ in the South China Sea, Work said such a declaration “does not have a basis in international law and we’ve said over and over we will fly, sail and go wherever international law allows.”

Pentagon officials said there are troubling indicators the Chinese are planning to impose a new ADIZ in a region where Beijing’s military has reclaimed some 3,200 acres of disputed islands and has begin adding missiles – both air defense and recently anti-ship missiles – to Woody Island, in the Paracels chain.

China has not denied it is considering the new air zone. Government spokesmen have said whether an ADIZ is declared will be based on threats – a not so subtle insinuation that recent US Navy freedom of navigation operations within 12 miles of disputed islands is a rationale behind the air zone

Asked if China will impose an ADIZ, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Sr. Col. Yang Yujun, signaled the declaration could be made in the future.

“For the ADIZ in the South China Sea, we have repeated our position on many occasions,” he said Thursday. “What I need to underscore here is that to set up an ADIZ is the right of a sovereign state and we don’t need other countries to make suggestions.”

According to Pentagon officials, if China declares an ADIZ, not only will regional tensions sharply increase but the chance of a military confrontation between US forces – both air and sea – could be become more likely.

The language used by the officials is that once imposed, China would demand that all aircraft that transit over the South China Sea would be required to notify Chinese authorities in advance of any flights.

Creeping Chinese hegemony?

Thus, the an ADIZ declaration could signal the next stage of creeping Chinese hegemony in the region, something US Pacific Command commander Adm. Harry Harris has said is part of China’s goal to “change the operational landscape” of the region.

US intelligence agencies are closely monitoring Chinese actions and statements and concluded last month that Beijing is incrementally moving to impose the air zone.

One key indicator, according to US officials, will be whether China perceives its air security over the sea to be impacted negatively by U.S. warplanes and reconnaissance aircraft that regularly patrol what the Pentagon considers unrestricted, international airspace.

Last November two B-52 bombers flew close to the disputed Spratlys islands, despite warnings from Chinese ground controllers to leave the area in what appeared to be a show of force.

Days after the bomber overflight, however, the Pentagon apologized for the aircraft incursion, claiming the bombers went off course by mistake.

The mixed message of asserting freedom to fly anywhere but then claiming the saber-rattling bomber mission was unintended sent a sign that some analysts say shows the United States is not really serious when it asserts that its ships and aircraft will fly or sail anywhere in the sea.

State-run Chinese media, always a clear a reflection of Beijing’s strategic influence programs, since October have begun steadily stepping up calls for imposing a Chinese ADIZ over South China Sea ADIZ.

The uptick in rhetoric coincided with the Navy’s first destroyer exercise of a freedom of navigation operation in the sea after a halt of several years.

Officials said that if the same pattern used in 2013 to impose the East China Sea ADIZ declaration is followed this year, China likely will announce that its air security in the South China Sea is threatened, and then announced ADIZ shortly after.

East China Sea ADIZ

One key trigger for the move is likely to be the expected ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in late April or early May in favor of the Philippines’ legal challenge to Chinese claims in the sea.

US response to shootdown weighed

Another troubling sign appeared in an official Chinese publication last month. A military researcher, Wang Hongliang, identified as an official at the National Strategic Research Center in Shanghai, published an article outlining how the United States would respond to the shootdown of a US aircraft over the South China Sea.

Wang stated Washington would respond in one of three ways: rapid military retaliation followed with diplomatic and military deterrence; an increase in diplomatic pressure through military deterrence without the use of armed force; and the launching of lighting attacks against Chinese military and strategic targets in the South China Sea and then quickly deescalating to prevent a full-blown war.

The Chinese researcher concluded that since China has not imposed an ADIZ, “the PLA lacks any safe flight regulations in so-called “contested airspace which it can declare to foreign parties.”

“If US planes enter this airspace, Beijing will naturally have the right to shoot them down, according to its own understanding of the ownership of the islands,” he wrote. “This does not violate international law, though the United States and some [South China Sea] countries will not see things this way. This is actually the greatest risk of an accident happening in the airspace of the SCS.”

Harris, the PACOM commander, has made clear that militarily the disputed Chinese military facilities in the South China Sea, currently airfields, HQ-9 air defense missiles and YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missiles, could be easily destroyed by superior US military forces with precision strike capabilities in a conflict. But he said the problem is the incremental way China is moving to take control.

Thus China is seeking to avoid an head-on military confrontation with the United States and instead is using legal, psychological and media warfare to achieve its objective of turning the sea into a Chinese lake.

The provocative article discussing the shoot down of a US military aircraft is clearly is part of China’s war of nerves with the United States and its efforts to solidify control over the South China Sea.

Things could come to a head soon. “The Chinese could declare an ADIZ at any time,” said one Pentagon official in the know.

Bill Gertz is a journalist and author who has spent decades covering defense and national security affairs. He is the author of six national security books. Contact him on Twitter at @BillGertz



Guess the article forgot to mention the S.Korean and Japanese ADIZ (see map below)


China to the US: Hey, mind your own business in the South China Sea

Ben Blanchard, Reuters

Mar. 31, 2016, 9:24 AM

China’s Defence Ministry denounced as gesticulation on Thursday speculation it would declare an air defense zone over the disputed South China Sea, after the United States said it had told China it would not recognize one.  More….

Reacting to China’s ADIZ

A Response to James Manicom

| December 2, 2013
Reuters @wp.opencanada.org

James Manicom has offered an interesting take on China’s recently announced “air defence identification zone” (ADIZ). He acknowledges how the ADIZ might have complicated matters in the East China Sea. But he’s also quick to criticize the Americans for imposing double standards on the whole issue, in which China’s declared ADIZ is explicitly attacked while those of Japan and South Korea are not. Indeed, Manicom also takes the United States to task for what he sees as a reaction that “vastly exceeded the severity of China’s action.More….

See related post:

China Deploys YJ-62 Subsonic Anti-Ship Cruise Missile To South China Sea’s Woody Island

India Rejects Joint Naval Patrols with US in South China Sea

China plans aircraft carrier battlegroups to protect offshore interests

China sends surface-to-air missiles to contested island in provocative move

Conflicting parties in the SC Sea and Naval power comparison – Non US – UPDATED

Russia to start 1st shipment of S-300 missile systems to Iran: diplomat

April 5, 2016 – 13:08 AMT

“I don’t know if this will happen today, but they (S-300 missiles) will be loaded (for shipment to Iran),” Interfax news agency quoted Zamir Kabulov, a department chief at the Foreign Ministry, as saying.

Original post panarmenian.net


See related post:

Russia to ship first S-300 missile system to Iran in Aug-Sept: RIA cites official

Russia freezes Iran missile sale following Israeli pressure

S-300 anti-air missile system game changer for Iran

Russia to send S-300 air defense system to Iran

Iran to buy Sukhoi-30 fighter jets from Russia, minister says

Iran mulls $8 bln arms deal with Russia


Long range surface-to-air missile systems
Four missiles Fakel 48N6E2 or 48N6E,5V55R, 5V55K in individual container
Country users
Russia, China, Venezuela, Libya, Algeria.
High explosive ; fragmentation
Explosive load
180 kg
Weight missile
1.800 kg
Lenght missile
7,5 m
3 – 200 km
Guidance system
Command + active radar homing
Engagement radar 30N6E2, 64N6E2 acquisition radar or ST-68U Tin Shield – 5N66 Clam Sheel 40V6M, supported by a 54K6E2 command post and 83M6E2 command and control system. New option LEMZ 96L6 Cheese Board early warning and acquisition radar

Source armyrecognition.com

Recent Photos of Chinese PLAN Liaoning aircraft carrier

Asian Defence News

Tuesday, April 05, 2016


See related post:

China Developing New State-of-the-art Warship to Outperform the U.S. Navy’s Best Destroyers

China’s top new long-range missile ‘may be deployed this year’, putting US in striking distance

China to Buy Russian Su-35 With Modernized Radar Systems

US Navy orders nine AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters for Pakistan

Dawn.com — Apr 5, 2016

WASHINGTON: The United States (US) Navy awarded a $170 million contract for the manufacture of nine AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters to Bell Helicopter, the US Department of Defense said in a statement on Monday.

The combat helicopters will be manufactured and delivered to Pakistan under the Foreign Military Sales Program, the statement said.

The Bell AH-1Z Viper is a twin-engine combat chopper based on the previous SuperCobra model developed for the US Marine Corps, Sputnik reported. It has a top speed of 420 kilometres per hour and a range of 610km.

The contract awarded “for the manufacture and delivery of nine AH-1Z aircraft and nine auxiliary fuel kits for the government of Pakistan” is “expected to be completed in September 2018”.

“Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $170,173,188 will be obligated at time of award,” the Defense Department statement says, adding that the Naval Air Systems Command is contracting the activity for the Pakistani government.

Last April, the US State Department approved the Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for the AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopters and AGM-114R Hellfire II Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $952 million.

Earlier this year, the US approved a $700m sale of eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, to which India strongly objected. The sale was made in order to improve Pakistan’s precision strike capability, the US said.

In a document released in February, the US administration told US lawmakers that its Foreign Military Funding (FMF) to Pakistan would focus on seven priority areas “identified and agreed to with the government of Pakistan”.

These include “precision strike; air mobility and combat search and rescue; counter-improvised explosive device and survivability; battlefield communications; night operations; border security; and maritime security/counter-narcotics in support of counter-terrorism aims”.

The document, sent to Congress with the US administration’s budget proposals for 2017, identifies these areas as essential to enhancing Pakistan’s counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism capabilities.

Original post dawn.com


See details of AH-1Z: HERE00004253_Bell_AH-1Z_Viper

See details of F-16C/D: HERE

See related post:

Pakistan in two minds on buying F-16 jets from US

Pakistan Air Force needs to replace 190 planes by 2020

Pakistan looks to buy another 10 F-16s

U.S. okays sale of eight Lockheed F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan – Pentagon

IAI and UVision Pitch LM’s to US Army

Apr 05, 2016 00:50 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff

Two Israeli companies will offer their loitering munitions systems to the US Army’s Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS) tender. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and UVision have recently developed Loitering Munitions (LM) systems, including the Green Dragon and Hero-30 respectively. The 4.5 kg Green Dragon is powered by electric motors operating four rotors, and carries an interchangeable day/night payload. It is armed with two hand grenade-size explosives. The smaller Hero-30 is a 3kg expendable munition carried in a canister that is also used as its pneumatic launcher, and is equipped with a day/night sensor and has an endurance of 30m.


Lethal Miniature Aerial Munition System (LMAMS) tender

According to a request for information (RFI) released in 2012, the army’s new system has to be capable of operating autonomously, semi-autonomously, or manually.

The operator will be able to select pre-determined targets using geo location references, and to visually select and identify targets of opportunity.

“LMAMS must have the ability to automatically lock on and track a stationary or moving target,” the RFI adds. “Once a target is selected by the operator in the terminal phase of an engagement, no further operator input shall be required.”

US companies that have indicated their intention to compete for LMAMS include AeroVironment, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Textron. Source flightglobal.com

UVision Hero-30

Asset Image

Man-pack portable, Hero 30 is the smallest system in the UVision family of smart loitering systems. Deployable within minutes, Hero 30 is capable of speeds of up to 100 knots and is ideal for anti-personnel missions.

Weight (kg): 3
Warhead (kg): 0.5
Range (LOS): 5, 10, 40 km
Endurance (min): 30
Engine: Electrical
Launch method: Canister

Source uvisionuav.com

IAI  Green Dragon

IAI’s family of LM’s is the Green Dragon – a tactical, affordable weapon which addresses the growing demand from military users for organic, persistent, situational- awareness diagnosis and rapid kinetic response. It is also suitable for small ground units and special operations forces, operating as an organic loitering weapon which enables both ISR and attack capabilities in short-response time. As an all-electric LM, Green Dragon operates silently for up to two hours, during which its operator can collect visual intelligence of surrounding areas up to a range of 40 km.

Green Dragon can locate and acquire targets and, upon a command from its operator, can dive on designated targets to impact and explode with an accuracy better than 1 meter (CEP). The operator can abort the attack any time before impact, through a built-in “abort and circle” capability, designed to prevent unnecessary collateral damage or mistaken targeting.

The Green Dragon weighs 15 kg. and uses an electro-optical ‘micropop’ EO/IR payload for surveillance, targeting and terminal homing. Its warhead weighs almost 3 kg. The Green Dragon is carried and launched from a sealed 1.7-meter-long canister that can be carried by a soldier in a backpack or stacked on a small vehicle in groups of 12-16 launchers. Upon launch, the weapon expands to a cruciform 1.7-meter-wide shape optimized for loitering and terminal dive. It is controlled from a tablet-sized control panel, through a tactical, low-power datalink. Source defense-update.com

F-16 Fighting Falcon Multirole Fighter, USA

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, the first of the US Air Force multi-role fighter aircraft, is the world’s most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service with the USAF and 2,500 operational with 25 other countries.

The F-16 and the F-15 Eagle were the world’s first aircraft able to withstand higher g-forces than the pilots. The Fighting Falcon entered service in 1979. The last of 2,231 F-16 fighters for the US Air Force was delivered in March 2005. The first two-seat F-16D version was accepted by the US Government in January 2009.

Foreign orders have included Bahrain (ten delivered), Greece (60 block 52 all delivered), Iraq (36), Israel (50), Egypt (24 block 40), Morocco (24), New Zealand (28), United Arab Emirates (80 block 60, first delivered 2005), Singapore (20), South Korea (20 block 52 all delivered), Oman (12), Chile (ten block 50) and Poland (48 block 52).

Production of the block 50/52 totals 813 airframes up to now. Manufacturing started in 1991 and is still ongoing. Block 50 aircraft were delivered to the USAF, Turkey, Greece and Chile, whilst Block 52 aircraft were delivered to the USAF, South Korea, Singapore, Greece, Poland and Israel. Of the total number of Block 50/52, still 260 are waiting delivery to the customer (July 2003). Source f-16.net

F-16 Fighting Falcon cockpit

Advanced equipment being fitted on the current build of the F-16 includes Honeywell colour flat-panel liquid crystal multifunction displays, digital terrain system, modular mission computer, colour video camera to record the pilot’s view of the head-up display (HUD), a colour triple-deck video recorder and an enhanced programmable display generator.

1168279F-16 Block 50/52 cockpit @airliners.net

Under the USAF project Sure Strike, the F-16 is equipped with an improved data modem (IDM), which automatically provides target data to the HUD using data transmitted by a ground observer.

moving the gear handle up retracts the landing gear once the aircraft is airborn.

2.AOA(Angle of Attack) Indicator
The AOA indicator is an instrument that shows the angle of attack of the aircraft. In order to genirate lift, the jet needs to have a positive angle of attack or fly at a positive angle into the relative wind (airflow).

3.Airspeed Indicator
The airspeed indicator shows the aircraft’s airspeed in hundreds of knots. when the red needle is on the “4”, you going 400 knots.

4.MDF (Multi Functional Displays)
Two displays on either side of the centre console in the cokpit that can show all radar modes including combat and navigation, as well as other vital information.

This system detects radar contacting your aircraft and detemines its type, strength and bearing.

6. HUD (heads-up-display)
A glass panel in front of the cockpit that shows important navigation and weapons information.

7.ICP (Integrated Control Panel)
Panel used for weapons release, landing, navigation and Communications.

8. Oil Pressure Indicator
The Oil pressure indocator dipsays engine oil pressure, ranging from 0 to 100 psi (pounds per squar inch).

9.RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) Indicator
The RPM indicator displays the engine revolutions per minute.
RPM is expressed as a percentage from 0% to 100%

10. Nozzle Position Indocator
This instrument dispalys the position of the engine nozzle.
the indicator wil be mostly open at at idle, closed at Mil power (100% thrust), and fully open at full afther burner.

11. VVI (Vertical Velocity Indicator)
The vertical Velocity Indicator is an instrument that shows your rate of climb or descent in feet per minute.

12. ADI(Attitude Direction Indicator)
The instrument that displays the aircraft pitch and control.

The F-16C/F users “fly-by-wire” Technolgy on an F16 the stick does not control cables that are linked to the surface, but tather inputs to a computer which in turn controls servos or hydaulics for the flaps and rudder, ect…

14. HIS (Horizontal Situation Indocator)
The HSI is a round moving dial that shows the aircraft’s compass heading. When the aircraft turns, the dial moves to indicate the change in aircraft heading.

The altimete shows the height of the aircraft sbove MSL(Mean Sea Level)

16. Eject Handle

17. Trottle

Source voodoo-world.cz

Image @voodoo-world.czImage @voodoo-world.cz

The seat-back angle of the aircraft has been increased from 13° to 30° to provide increased comfort for the pilot.

“USAF F-16 aircraft are scheduled to receive the Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS).”

Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)


In an air-to-air role, the JHMCS, combined with the AIM-9X missile, form the High-Off-BoreSight (HOBS) system. HOBS is an airborne weapon-interception system that enables pilots to accurately direct or “cue” onboard weapons against enemy aircraft merely by pointing their heads at the targets to guide the weapons, while performing high-G aircraft maneuvers that may be required to complete the attack.

In an air-to-ground role, the JHMCS is used in conjunction with targeting sensors (radar, FLIR, etc.) and “smart weapons” to accurately and precisely attack surface targets. It allows F-15E aircrew to provide unparalleled support to ground troops in the CAS environment.

In all roles, the JHMCS provides the pilot with aircraft performance, targeting, weaponry and threat warning information, regardless of where the pilot is looking, significantly enhancing pilot situation awareness throughout the mission. In a dual-seat aircraft, each crewmember can wear a JHMCS helmet, perform operations independent of each other, and have continuous awareness of where the other crewmember is looking.

System Features

Unlike one of its predecessor, the DASH system, which is integrated into the helmet itself, JHMCS is a clip-on attachment unit, which can be latched into position with one hand during flight (see photo below). It fits to modified HGU-55/P, HGU-56/P or HGU-68/P helmets and it features a newer, faster digital processing package than that used in the DASH. The overall design is more advanced than DASH, based on the collective knowledge accumulated by Elbit and Kaiser through the years.


The JHMCS has a magnetic helmet-mounted tracker (like DASH), which determines where the pilot’s head is pointed, combined with a miniature display system that projects information onto the pilot’s visor. A magnetic transmitter unit is fixed to the pilot’s seat and a magnetic field probe is mounted on the helmet to determine where the helmet is actually pointing. A Helmet Vehicle Interface ( HVI) interacts with the aircraft system bus to provide signal generation for the helmet display. The head tracker and visor display together act as a targeting device that can aim sensors and weapons.

To obtain a variety of information and sensor-based data pilots can refer to the visual display on the inside of the helmet while remaining in a “heads-up” or “outside” position during combat; this eliminates the break in visual contact that occurs when they look away to check the display readouts in the cockpit. This significantly improves pilot situational awareness during all mission elements. The visor display presents monochrome calligraphic symbology (stroke display) with information like airspeed, altitude, G-load, AoA, target range, targeting cues, threat warnings, etc. JHMCS provides support for raster scanned imagery to display FLIR or IRST pictures for night operations and provides collimated symbology and imagery to the pilot. JHMCS symbology covers a 20 degree field of view for the right eye, with an 18 mm exit pupil (see photo below).

To aim and fire a missile, pilots simply move their heads to align a targeting cross (placed in the middle of the projected imagery) with the target and press a switch on the flight controls to direct and fire a weapon.

aug_i_ttImage: boeing.com

To attack a ground target, the pilot can acquire the target with a sensor and note it’s location on the helmet display. Alternatively, the pilot can use the helmet display to cue sensors and weapons to a visually detected ground target. Note that precision ordnance cannot be released based on JHMCS targeting alone, the system is not accurate enough for this. However it can be used to direct the aircraft’s much more precise targeting systems (targeting pod) towards the target the pilot is looking at. This way the tedious “soda-straw” search limited to a display image generated by the narrow field of view targeting system can be shortened significatly. With JHMCS, target acquisition can follow a much quicker “look, sharpen, shoot” process.

The system can be used without requiring the aircraft to be maneuvered, significantly reducing the time needed to prosecute an attack, which also minimizes the time spent in the threat environment.

Since targets may be located at high-off-boresight line-of-sight locations in relation to the shooter, the system delivers a short-range intercept envelope that is significantly larger than any other air-to-air weapon in use. When combined with the AIM-9X missile, JHMCS allows effective target designation up to 80 degrees either side of the aircraft’s nose.

The JHMCS display assembly requires two cable connections: a high voltage power cable for operation and a data cable for information exchange with the host aircraft. Unlike in DASH the high voltage power supply is not embedded in the helmet, it feeds up via an umbilical, through a quick disconnect inline high coltage rated connector.

When used in conjunction with a datalink, the system permits handoff of visually detected targets from one aircraft to another, with the second aircraft receiving visual cueing to the target. Source f-15e.info

A follow-on programme, project Gold Strike, integrates an upgraded IDM for the transmission of images to and from a range of sources, including ground units and unmanned aircraft. The system can transmit images from the LANTIRN targeting pod and display video imagery to the cockpit.

The GEC-Marconi holographic Head-Up Display (HUD) was the answer to the USAF’s request for a HUD capable of displaying the WVOW FliR-imagery of the LANTIRN Pod. The design of the new HUD was particularly challenging; conventional optics do not allow implementation of such a large combiner glass. New holographic technologies (diffraction gratings; simply put, they reflect light of a particular wavelength or color with high efficiency while transmitting all other wavelengths with little absorption) were applied, in the mean time ensuring that the HUD installation would not interfere with the ejection line (i.e. allow enough space for the legs and feet of the pilot during ejection). Source f-16.net

Raytheon to retrofit 130 F-16 center display units: Details

F-16 center display unit

The USAF F-16 aircraft receive the Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS), currently in full-rate production. Deliveries of production systems began in 2004, and the system was first deployed operationally during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

F-16 missiles and weapons

The aircraft has nine hardpoints for weapons payloads: one at each wing tip, three under each wing and one centreline under the fuselage. The ordnance is launched from Raytheon LAU-88 launchers, MAU-12 and Orgen bomb ejector racks. The port wing is fitted with a 20mm General Electric M61A1 multi-barrel cannon and the gunsight is interfaced to the cockpit HUD.

M-61A1 20mm Gatling gun

M-61A1 20mm Gatling gun

The M61 20mm Vulcan is an externally powered, six-barrel, rotary-fire gun having a rate of fire of up to 7200 spm. The firing rate is selectible at 4,000 spm or 6,000 spm. The gun fires standard electrically primed 20mm ammunition. The M61A1 is hydraulically or ram-air driven, electrically controlled, and uses a linkless ammunition feed system.

Each of the gun’s six barrels fires only once during each revolution of the barrel cluster. The six rotating barrels contribute to long weapon life by minimizing barrel erosion and heat generation. The gun’s rate of fire, essentially 100 rounds per second, gives the pilot a shot density that will enable a “kill” when fired in one-second bursts.

Image @f-16.net

The M61 20mm cannon is a proven gun, having been the US military’s close-in weapon of choice dating back to the 1950s. The F-104, F-105, later models of the F-106, F-111, F-4, B-58, all used the M61, as does the Air Force’s F-15 , F-16 and F-22, and the Navy’s F-14 and F/A-18. The internally mounted 20mm cannon system is common to all versions of the F-15. This system combines the widely used (F-4, F-16, F-18) M61 cannon with 940 rounds (A through D models) or 500 rounds (E model) of ammunition. The cannon can be loaded with target practice, armor piercing, or high explosive incendiary rounds. The primary use of the cannon is in the extremely short range (less than 2000 feet) air-to-air environment, where more sophistacated air-to-air missiles are ineffective. Alternately, the cannon has limited usefulness in a ground strafing role. Source fas.org

F-16 external storesImage @airvectors.net

AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM

The F-16’s most characteristic weapon is the AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM, usually carried on the wingtip launch rails. Most US machines traditionally carried the AIM-9L/M all-aspect variants, but some foreign users have had to settle for the slightly less sophisticated AIM-9P-4 variant.

Sidewinder AIM-9L/M

Along with the Sidewinder, F-16 have also carried the medium-range AIM-7M Sparrow, though only a few nations acquired this weapon for the F-16, as well as the Sparrow’s follow-on, the AIM-120 AMRAAM. A few nations have qualified AAMs from other nations, such as the Israeli Rafael Python or French Matra Magic series of heatseeking AAMs, both in the same class as the Sidewinder.

The F-16 increasingly carries the AIM-9X AAM, and sometimes the comparable British “Advanced Short Range AAM (ASRAAM)”. Both of these are “off-boresight” AAMs, meaning they don’t have to be pointed directly at the target before launch. They are instead “cued” to the target by the pilot’s helmet-mounted sight. There are rumors that some foreign F-16s have been qualified for the new medium-range Matra MICA AAM. Source airvectors.net

AIM-9X Sidewinder AAM

aim9xImage: donhollway.com

The current fifth-generation AIM-9X is to the old 9B what humans are to homo erectus. Paired with a pilot’s helmet-mounted display, it can “look” 90 degrees off-boresight for its target and, with three-dimensional vectored-thrust steering, turn 180 degrees in pursuit. One test pilot at Naval Air Station Fallon, Nev., freshly returned from getting every visual-range first-shot “kill” on Top Gun instructors in F-18s and F-14s, enthused, “If you have [a weapons-sight] helmet and AIM-9X, you are King Kong of the air.”

cloudshooting“Cloud shooting:” Newest versions permit the missile to receive targeting instructions after launch, from other than the launching aircraft. Image: donhollway.comaim-9x_002_zf3d_20159271241117723D-vectoring nozzle which permits the 9X to turn 180° in pursuit

The latest versions have “lock-on after launch” capability, lending themselves to “cloud shooting,” 360-degree target selection via data link from aircraft other than the launching fighter. Source donhollway.com

Advanced Short Range AAM (ASRAAM)

“Advanced Short Range AAM (ASRAAM)”

The Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM) is a state of the art, highly manoeuvrable and combat effective weapon. Many combat aircraft are currently equipped with radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM for long range engagements and the AIM-9 Sidewinder for close combat. The two missiles are an ill-matched pair, since nearly four decades separates their origins. construction. While AMRAAM is highly effective at ranges between 5-50 kilometers, its usefulness diminishes rapidly at a shorter ranges.

A rival to the American-built AIM-9X Sidewinder, ASRAAM is equipped with a Raytheon-Hughes infrared seeker which is the baseline for the company’s AIM-9X seeker. The company developed an infrared seeker featuring a unique sapphire dome as part of an engineering-manufacturing-development and production effort valued at $215 million. This ASRAAM seeker played a part the company’s competitive win of the AIM-9X missile contract that could lead to some $5 billion in business over the next 20 years.

Manafacturer British Aerospace
Date Deployed 1998 ?
Range 8 nm ( 300 m to 15 km )
Speed Mach 3+
Propulsion One dual-thrust solid-propellant rocket motor
Guidance strapdown inertial and Imaging Infrared
Warhead 22.05 lb ( 10 kg ) blast/fragmentation
Launch Weight 220.5 lb ( 100 kg )
Length 8 ft, 11.5 in ( 2.73 m )
Diameter 6.6 in ( 0.168 m )
Fin Span 17.7 inches ( 45 cm )

Source fas.org

Air-to-air missiles which have been carried on the F-16 include the Lockheed Martin / Raytheon AIM-9 Sidewinder, Raytheon AMRAAM, Raytheon Sparrow, MBDA (formerly Matra BAe Dynamics) Skyflash and ASRAAM, and the MBDA R550 Magic 2. In April 2004, the F-16 first fired the new-generation AIM-9X Sidewinder, which is in full-rate production for the USAF.


Raytheon AMRAAM AIM-120C missile@ausairpower.net


Primary Function: Air-to-air tactical missile
Contractor: Hughes Aircraft Co. and Raytheon Co.
Power Plant: High performance
Length: 143.9 inches (366cm)
Launch Weight: 335 pounds (150.75kg)
Diameter: 7 inches (17.78cm)
Wingspan: 20.7 inches (52.58cm)
Range: 30+ miles (48+ km)
Speed: Mach 4 capable
Guidance System: Active radar terminal/inertial midcourse
Warhead: 40 lbs, Blast fragmentation

Skyflash missile

8373651725_9b2cab8d7e_zSkyflash missile

The Active Skyflash retains the airframe of the basic Skyflash/Improved Skyflash, but is fitted with a Thomson CSF active radar seeker. This allows fire and forget launches against multiple targets, which will not become aware of the inbound missile until it is either sighted or its active seeker commences terminal homing. The active seeker has an inherent capability to burn through hostile jamming as the power on target increases as the missile closes with the target. Source ausairpower.net

AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile


The AIM-7 Sparrow is a medium-range, semi-active, air-to-air missile designed to counter high-performance aircraft. The Sparrow missile was deployed in 1953 and has been acquired by many air forces of the world. The Sparrow missile has an annular blast fragmentation warhead in excess of 40 kilograms. Currently, The high-performance AIM-120 missile is replacing the Sparrow missile in the role of medium range, air-to-air missile in the United States and allied nations.

The AIM-7M Sparrow achieved operational status in 1982. It has improved reliability and performance over earlier models at low altitudes and in ECM environments. Its software was also improved.

Diameter: 200 millimeter
Length: 3.66 meter (12.0 foot)
Wingspan: 1.02 meter
Max Range: 55,000 meter (29.7 nautical mile)

Top Speed: 1,190 mps (4,285 kph)
Warhead: 40 kilogram
Weight: 227 kilogram (500 pound)

Source deagel.com

MBDA R550 Magic 2

Profil magic2

R.550 Magic is a short-range air-to-air missile Range 0.3 to 15 km Infrared homing

Air-to-surface missiles carried on the F-16 include Maverick, HARM and Shrike missiles, manufactured by Raytheon, and anti-ship missiles include Boeing Harpoon and Kongsberg Penguin. Flight tests with the Lockheed Martin joint air-to-surface stand-off missile (JASSM) have been conducted from the F-16.

AGM-65 Maverick

Maverick missile

HARM missile

HARM missile

The AGM-88 HARM (high-speed antiradiation missile) is a supersonic air-to-surface tactical missile designed to seek and destroy enemy radar-equipped air defense systems. The AGM-88 can detect, attack and destroy a target with minimum aircrew input. Guidance is provided through reception of signals emitted from a ground-based threat radar. It has the capability of discriminating a single target from a number of emitters in the environment. The proportional guidance system that homes in on enemy radar emissions has a fixed antenna and seeker head in the missile nose. A smokeless, solid-propellant, dual-thrust rocket motor propels the missile. The Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 and EA-6B have the capability to employ the AGM-88. With the retirement of the F-4, the F-16C is the only aircraft in the current Air Force inventory to use the AGM-88. The B version has an improved guidance section which incorporates an improved tactical software and electronically reprogrammable memory.

Primary Function:

Air-to-surface anti-radiation missile


Defense suppression


Fixed soft


Navy and Air Force


Raytheon [Texas Instruments]

Program status


Date Deployed:


Power Plant:

Thiokol dual-thrust rocket motor


Dual thrust


13 feet, 8 inches (4.14 meters)

Launch Weight:

800 pounds (360 kilograms)


10 inches (25.40 centimeters)


3 feet, 8 inches (101.60 centimeters)


30 plus miles (48 plus kilometers)


Max. speed: 2280 km/h

Guidance System:


Guidance method

Homes on electronic emissions


WAU-7/B, 143.51bs. Direct Fragmentation

Explosive (NEW)

PBXC-116 (45.2 lbs.)


Pulsed Laser Proximity/Contact


Boost Sustain 64,000 lbs./sec. Low Smoke

Source fas.org


Shrike missile

The AGM-45 SHRIKE series weapon system is a passive air-to-ground missile whose mission is to home on and destroy or suppress radiating radar transmitters, directing both ground antiaircraft fire and surface-to-air missiles.  The system consists of an AGM-45 guided missile, AERO-5A/B or LAU-118 launcher, and a launch aircraft configured with SHRIKE-unique avionics and a target identification acquisition system. The AGM-45 SHRIKE guided missile is composed of four major sections; guidance, warhead, control, and rocket motor. Along with the wing and fin assemblies, the sections make up the all-up-round missile. Several missile versions have been developed and produced to home on certain types of enemy radar transmitters. Each version consists of a guidance section specially developed and tuned to a specific frequency range unique to an individual threat radar. The AERO-5B-1 and LAU-118 series rail launchers are used to launch the SHRIKE missile. They provide the electrical and mechanical interface between the SHRIKE guided missile and the launch aircraft.


Texas Instruments,
Sperry Rand/Univac


390 lbs.


10 ft.


8 inches


3 ft.

Guidance: Radar-homing


Rocketdyne Mk 39 or Aerojet Mk 53 polybutadiene solid-fuel rocket


approx. Mach 2


approx. 10 mi for AGM-45A
up to 28.8 mi for AGM-45B with improved rocket motor


145 lbs conventional high-explosive/fragmentation

Source fas.org

Harpoon missile

Boeing Harpoon

The Harpoon missile provides the Navy and the Air Force with a common missile for air, ship, and submarine launches. The weapon system uses mid-course guidance with a radar seeker to attack surface ships. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness. The Harpoon missile and its launch control equipment provide the warfighter capability to interdict ships at ranges well beyond those of other aircraft.

The Harpoon missile was designed to sink warships in an open-ocean environment. Other weapons (such as the Standard and Tomahawk missiles) can be used against ships, but Harpoon and Penguin are the only missiles used by the United States military with anti-ship warfare as the primary mission. Once targeting information is obtained and sent to the Harpoon missile, it is fired. Once fired, the missile flys to the target location, turns on its seeker, locates the target and strikes it without further action from the firing platform. This allows the firing platform to engage other threats instead of concentrating on one at a time.

An appropriately configured HARPOON can be launched from an AERO-65 bomb rack, AERO-7/A bomb rack, MK 6 canister, MK 7 shock resistant canister, MK 12 thickwall canister, MK 112 ASROC launcher, MK 8 and MK 116 TARTAR launcher, or submarine torpedo tube launcher.

Primary Function:

Air-to-surface anti-ship missile


Maritime ship attack


Maritime surface


Navy and Air Force


Boeing [ex McDonnell Douglas]

Power Plant:

Teledyne Turbojet and solid propellant booster for surface and submarine launch

Program status

sea-launch air-launch SLAM SLAM-ER

First capability

1977 1979


660 pounds


15 feet
(4.55 meters)
12 feet, 7 inches
(3.79 meters)
14 feet, 8 inches
(4.49 meters)


1,470 pounds
(661.5 kilograms)
1,145 pounds
(515.25 kilograms)
1,385 pounds
(629.55 kilograms)


13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)


3 feet (91.44 centimeters)


Greater than 60 nautical miles 150+ miles


855 km/h

Guidance System:

Sea-skimming cruise with mid-course guidance monitored by radar altimeter, active seeker radar terminal homing inertial navigation system with GPS, infrared terminal guidance


Penetration high-explosive blast (488 pounds)





Source fas.org

PENGUIN missile

960-400-agm-119-missile-different-viewKongsberg Penguin missile

The PENGUIN missile is a short-to-medium range inertially guided missile with infrared (IR) terminal homing. The missile consists of a seeker, navigation and control section, warhead,rocket motor, four folding wings and four canards. It is capable of gravity drop launches at low speeds and altitudes. Ships and surfaced submarines are the missiles primary targets. A principal operational advantage of Penguin is its relatively long operational range, which permits a helicopter armed with Penguin to remain outside the launch envelopes of potential targets. The Penguin missile has an indirect flight path to target. It is also operated in “fire-and-forget” mode to allow multiple target aqusition. The Penguin is fired from a launcher or a stage weighing approximately 1100 pounds (500 kilograms).

The Penguin is a uniquely capable weapon against small combatants and surfaced submarines in the littoral environment. The IR seeker head is effective against a wide range of targets and its profile is hard to defend against. It is a short-to-medium range inertially guided missile and is capable of gravity drop launches at low speeds and altitudes. A “fire-and-forget” missile, the Penguin has a 360 degree arc, autonomous search, acquisition and track during terminal phase, discriminates between target decoys and is resistant to IR countermeasures.

Primary Function

Helicopter launched anti-ship missile.


Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk (Norway)

Power Plant

Solid propellant rocket motor and solid propellant booster


120.48 inches (3.06 meters)

Launch Weight

847 pounds (385 kilograms)


11.2 inches (28.45 centimeters)

Wing Span

30 in’s folded, 55 in’s Deployed


25 nautical miles / 35 km


1.2 Mach maximum


Inertial and infrared terminal.


265 lbs gross, 110 lbs High Explosive, semi armor piercing
derivative of the Bullpup missile

Date Deployed

Fourth quarter 1993

Source fas.org

JASSM  cruise missile

Lockheed Martin joint air-to-surface stand-off missile (JASSM)

JASSM is a precision cruise missile designed for launch from outside area defenses to kill hard, medium-hardened, soft, and area type targets. The threshold integration aircraft are the F-16, B-52, and F/A-18 E/F, and the airframe design is compatible with all JASSM launch platforms: the B-52H, F-16C/D, F/A-18E/F, F-15E, F-117, B-1B, B-2, P-3C and S-3B. The weapon is required to attack both fixed and relocatable targets at ranges beyond enemy air defenses. After launch, it will be able to fly autonomously over a low-level, circuitous route to the area of a target, where an autonomous terminal guidance system will guide the missile in for a direct hit. The key performance parameters for the system are Missile Mission Effectiveness, range, and carrier operability.

JASSM’s midcourse guidance is provided by a Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided inertial navigation system (INS) protected by a new high, anti-jam GPS null steering antenna system. In the terminal phase, JASSM is guided by an imaging infrared seeker and a general pattern match-autonomous target recognition system that provides aimpoint detection, tracking and strike. It also offers growth potential for different warheads and seekers, and for extended range. Source fas.org

The first guided launch of the new joint direct attack munition (JDAM) was successfully carried out from an F-16. The F-16 was the first USAF aircraft to be fitted with the joint stand-off weapon (JSOW) in April 2000.

Joint direct attack munition

Joint direct attack munition (JDAM)

AGM-154 Joint stand-off weapon (JSOW)

Joint stand-off weapon (JSOW)

The AGM-154A (Formerly Advanced Interdiction Weapon System) is intended to provide a low cost, highly lethal glide weapon with a standoff capability. JSOW family of kinematically efficient, air-to-surface glide weapons, in the 1,000-lb class, provides standoff capabilities from 15 nautical miles (low altitude launch) to 40 nautical miles (high altitude launch). The JSOW will be used against a variety of land and sea targets and will operate from ranges outside enemy point defenses. The JSOW is a launch and leave weapon that employs a tightly coupled Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS), and is capable of day/night and adverse weather operations.

The JSOW uses inertial and global positioning system for midcourse navigation and imaging infra-red and datalink for terminal homing. The JSOW is just over 13 feet in length and weighs between 1000-1500 pounds. Extra flexibility has been engineered into the AGM-154A by its modular design, which allows several different submunitions, unitary warheads, or non-lethal payloads to be carried. The JSOW will be delivered in three variants, each of which uses a common air vehicle, or truck, while substituting various payloads.

AGM-154A (Baseline JSOW) The warhead of the AGM-154A consists of 145 BLU-97/B submunitions. Each bomblet is designed for multi-target in one payload. The bomblets have a shaped charge for armor defeat capability, a fragmenting case for material destruction, and a zirconium ring for incendiary effects.

AGM-154B (Anti-Armor) The warhead for the AGM-154B is the BLU-108/B from the Air Force’s Sensor Fuzed Weapon (SFW) program. The JSOW will carry six BLU-108/B submunitions. Each submunition releases four projectiles (total of 24 per weapons) that use infrared sensors to detect targets. Upon detection, the projectile detonates, creating an explosively formed, shaped charge capable of penetrating reinforced armor targets.

AGM-154B @media.defenceindustrydaily.com

AGM-154C (Unitary Variant) The AGM-154C will use a combination of an Imaging Infrared (IIR) terminal seeker and a two-way data link to achieve point target accuracy through aimpoint refinement and man-in-the-loop guidance. The AGM-154C will carry the BLU-111/B variant of the MK-82, 500- pound general purpose bomb, equipped with the FMU-152 Joint Programmable Fuze (JPF) and is designed to attack point targets. Source fas.org

The F-16 can be fitted with Lockheed Martin wind-corrected munitions dispenser (WCMD), which provides precision guidance for CBU-87, -89, and 97 cluster munitions. The system corrects for launch transients, ballistic errors, and winds aloft.

Wind-corrected munitions dispenser (WCMD)

Wind-corrected munitions dispenser (WCMD) @media.defenceindustrydaily.com

The F-16 is the first aircraft to use the USAF’s new weapon rack, the Edo Corporation BRU-57. The BRU-57 is a vertical ejection rack which doubles the aircraft’s capacity for precision-guided weapons such as the JDAM and WCMD.

USAF deploys APKWS on F-16s: HERE

APKWS Laser-Guided Rocket

Gfycat user NeedySnappyGalapagoshawk @popularmechanics.com

Currently in its third year of full rate production, the APKWS rocket is the only U.S. Department of Defense fully qualified guided 2.75-inch rocket. It uses semi-active laser guidance technology to strike both soft and lightly armored targets in confined areas, providing greater accuracy and mission effectiveness.

Developed as a highly cost-effective solution that leverages the military’s existing infrastructure and inventory – and inspired by real combat challenges, the APKWS rocket has served the needs of our U.S. armed forces with a 93 percent hit rate. Building on in- theater success by the U.S. Marines Corps, program officials from the U.S. Navy have now made the APKWS rocket available to U.S. allies by way of foreign military sales process.

The APKWS laser-guided rocket demonstrates extreme precision, reliability, and versatility in theater and in testing. The system also provides new combat capabilities for air, ground, and sea-based platforms.

  • Better than 93% hit rate
  • Demonstrated on more than 12 platforms
  • No modifications to the rocket, firing platform or fire control/launcher system needed
  • Minimal training needed for the crew

Data baesystems.com

BAE Systems proposed another design, mounting the laser sensors on the stabilizers. As the stabilizers are recessed into the rocket body until it clears the launch tube, the sensitive seekers are also protected from environmental and thermal effects of the launch. The weapon retains both the original Mk66 Mod 4 rocket motor and M151 / Mk 152 4.53 kg (10-pound) high-explosive warhead adding the 18.5 inches (47cm) long integrated targeting and guidance section between the two segments. The overall length of the extended rocket is 1.87 m (73.8 inches) and its weight is 14.8 kg (32.6 pounds).

The ‘plug in’ integration of the new guidance system enables the use of existing rockets without changes to existing components. Photo: BAE Systems.The ‘plug in’ integration of the new guidance system enables the use of existing rockets without changes to existing components. Photo: BAE Systems. @defense-update.comapkws inside guidanceBAE Systems’ imagery of the guidance section that turns the unguided Hydra rocket into a precision weapon. Note the laser seekers on each of the fins, which direct the flaperons at the fins’ trailing edges. BAE Systems imagery @defensemedianetwork.com

The upgrading of the standard 2.75" rocket into APKWS using the plug-in assembly.

The upgrading of the standard 2.75″ rocket into APKWS using the plug-in assembly.This design proved superior to nose mounted seekers, as it offered important advantages, such as easier ‘plug in’ integration of the new system (without the need to move or change the warhead). Fiber-optic cables, enabling fast and reliable connectivity, link the seekers to the processor. With no modifications to the rocket (except for the addition of ‘plug-in’ guidance kit), the firing platform or fire control/launcher systems also remain intact, supporting the new precision fires capability.

In 2009 the Navy selected BAE Systems as a prime contractor for the weapon’s development and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) and, by mid 2012 approved the program for full rate production. To date BAE Systems delivered more than 5,000 rockets; more than 100 were used in combat, particularly by the US Marine corps in Afghanistan. Following the endorsement of the US services, the Pentagon has made the APKWS rocket available for export under the foreign military sales (FMS) process. Source defense-update.com

Image @defenceindustrydaily.com

“Perdix” deployed from F-16: Here

Image: 3ders.org

BRU-57 vertical ejection rack

BRU-57 @defencesystems.netLoading ordinance on a BRU 57 @defencesystems.net

All-weather stand-off weapons such as the AGM-84E stand-off land-attack missile (SLAM) and the AGM-142 Popeye II are planned to be included in future upgrades to the aircraft. Other advanced weapons include MICA, IRIS-T, Python IV, Active Skyflash air-to-air missile, ALARM antiradiation missile, Apache multimission stand-off weapon, autonomous free-flight dispenser system and AS30L laser-guided missile.

Rare IRST Pod Toting “Ghost” F-16D Likely Based At Area 51 Spotted In Star Wars Canyon: Here


At first glance the Block 30 F-16D pictured above, serial number 86-0052, may look like any other F-16, but upon closer examination its registration and the unique equipment it carries makes it clear that it is anything but. 

On the right intake “chin” station, the F-16 carries an infrared search and track (IRST) pod. You can learn all about what an IRST is and how they are being introduced onto American fighter aircraft in this past in-depth post of mine. But in summary, they have the ability to detect and discriminate enemy aircraft targets at relatively long ranges in a passive in manner. In other words, they don’t emit detectable electromagnetic energy like radar waves in order to detect an aircraft from afar, instead they do so by sensing the aircraft’s infrared signature, which is especially tough to hide for fast-flying, high-performance fighters—even stealthy ones. 


The F-16 carries the Lockheed Martin LANTIRN infrared navigation and targeting system. This is used in conjunction with a BAE Systems holographic display. Block 50/52 aircraft are equipped with the HARM targeting system, AN/ASQ-213 from Raytheon.

HARM Targeting Pod (HTM) – AN/ASQ-213A

HARM Targeting Pod (HTM) – AN/ASQ-213A

The High speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) Targeting Pod (HTS) enables F-16 Block 50/52 pilots to engage targets faster, and more accurately when tasked with Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) missions.

The HTS pod is mounted to the side of F-16 aircraft. It provides essential combat identification capabilities for fighter aircraft on air patrols over the battlefield.

The HTS is able to detect, locate and identify ground-based emitters. The R7 incorporates a precision geolocation capability to target Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs) into the AN/ASQ 213 Pod. F-16 Block 50/52 are cleared to carry both an AN/ASQ-213 HTS R7 Pod and an Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), by relocating HTS R7 pod to the aircraft’s left inlet hard point.

The system uses an integral GPS receiver, a digital receiver, and a new power supply and incorporate new software to enable users to pinpoint the location of hostile emitters using multi-ship techniques.

The pod is compatible with the latest currently fielded M3.4+ F-16 operational flight program (OFP) software. The same pod will enable pilots to utilize target location data and employ precision guided munitions to destroy hostile emitters once employed with the upcoming M4.2+ OFP release. HTS R7 will target HARM and other PGMs to destroy fixed and mobile enemy air defense elements. HTS R7 precision coordinates will be available to all Joint Forces via Link-16.  Source defense-update.com

US Air National Guard F-16 aircraft are fitted with Northrop Grumman Litening II / Litening ER targeting pods.

Northrop Grumman Litening II / Litening ER targeting pods

AN/AAQ-13 Navigation pod on the port chin station, AN/AAQ-14 Targeting pod on the starboard chin station. (LMTAS Photo) @f-16.net

LITENING Advanced Targeting, or AT, is a precision targeting pod system operational with a wide variety of combat air forces aircraft (A-10A/C, B-52H, F-15E and F-16 Blocks 25-52) as well as aircraft operated by other services and allies (AV-8B, EA-6B, F-16 Block 15 and F/A-18). The system’s advanced targeting and image processing techology significantly increases the combat effectiveness of the aircraft during day, night and under-the-weather conditions in the attack of ground targets with a variety of standoff weapons (i.e., laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons).

Northrop Grumman Litening II / Litening ER targeting pods.

Mounted externally,  LITENING AT is a targeting pod integrated with the aircraft. The targeting pod contains a high-resolution, mid-wave third generation, forward-looking infrared sensor, or FLIR, that displays an infrared image of the target to the aircrew.  It has a wide field of view search capability and a narrow field of view acquisition/targeting capability of battlefield-sized targets. The pod contains a charged coupled device or CCD-TV, camera used to obtain target imagery in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. An on-gimbal inertial navigation sensor has established line-of-sight and automatic boresighting capability.

The system incorporates a mult-spectral capability with a high resolution, mid-wave, third-generation FLIR and CCD-TV.  The pod is equipped with a laser designator for precise delivery of laser-guided munitions and a laser rangefinder for precise target coordinates. For target coordination with ground and air forces, a laser spot tracker, a laser marker, and a fully operational remotely operated video enhanced receiver, or ROVER, compatible video down link improves rapid target detection/ identification.

LITENING I was developed for the Israeli air force at Rafael Corporation’s Missiles Division in Haifa, Israel. In 1995 Northrop Grumman Corporation’s teamed with the company for further development.

LITENING II was initially fielded with Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command F-16s in 1999 and employed a “256” FLIR. This was subsequently enhanced to the LITENING Enhanced Range, or ER, configuration by the incorporation of a third-generation “512” FLIR. Subsequent image processing enhancements led to the AT configuration that is now the standard for U.S. forces which began fielding in 2003.

General Characteristics
Primary function:
  Infrared/electro-optical targeting; non-traditional intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corporation
Length: 87 inches (2.20 meters)
Diameter: 16 inches (0.406 meters)
Weight: 440 pounds (200 kilograms)
Aircraft: A-10A/A+/C, B-52H, F-15E, F-16 Block 25/30/32/40/42/50/52
Sensors: Infrared detector, CCD-TV camera, laser rangefinder and laser designator
Date Deployed: February 2000
Unit Cost: $1.4 million

Source af.mil

“Air-to-surface missiles carried on the F-16 Fighting Falcon include Maverick, HARM and Shrike missiles.”

In August 2001, Lockheed Martin was selected to provide the Sniper XR as the new advanced targeting pod for USAF F-16 and F-15E aircraft.

Lockheed Martin’ Sniper pod

Sniper pods provide improved long-range target detection/identification and continuous stabilized surveillance for all missions, including close air support of ground forces. The Sniper pod enables aircrews to detect and identify weapon caches and individuals carrying armaments, all outside jet noise ranges. Superior imagery, a video datalink and J-series-weapons-quality coordinates provided by the Sniper pod enable rapid target decisions and keep aircrews out of threat ranges.

High resolution imagery for non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (NTISR) enables the Sniper pod to play a major role in Air Force operations in theater, providing top cover for ground forces, as well as increasing the safety of civilian populations.

The Sniper pod is combat proven on U.S. Air Force and international F-15E, F-16 (all blocks), B-1, A-10C, Harrier GR7/9 and CF-18 aircraft. Lockheed Martin is also in the final stages of integrating the Sniper pod on the B-52. The pod’s plug-and-play capability facilitates moving the pod across platforms without changing software.

Sniper pods include a high definition mid-wave forward looking infrared (FLIR), dual-mode laser, HDTV, laser spot tracker, laser marker, video data link, and a digital data recorder. Advanced image processing algorithms, combined with rock steady stabilization techniques, provide cutting-edge performance. The pod features automatic tracking and laser designation of tactical size targets via real-time imagery presented on cockpit displays. The Sniper pod is fully compatible with the latest J-series munitions for precision weapons delivery against multiple moving and fixed targets.

Advanced Targeting Pod – Sensor Enhancement (ATP-SE) design upgrades include enhanced sensors, advanced processors, and automated NTISR modes.

The Sniper pod’s architecture and modular design permits true two-level maintenance, eliminating costly intermediate-level support. Automated built-in test permits flightline maintainers to isolate and replace an LRU in under 20 minutes. Spares are ordered through a user-friendly website offering in-transit visibility to parts shipment.

The Sniper pod’s modular design also offers an affordable road map for modernizing and enhancing precision targeting capabilities for U.S. Air Force and coalition partner aircraft.

General characteristics
Primary function: positive identification, automatic tracking and laser designation, NTISR
Prime contractor: Lockheed Martin
Length: 98.2 inches (252 centimeters)
Diameter: 11.9 inches (30 centimeters)
Weight: 446 pounds (202 kilograms)
Aircraft: F-15E, F-16 Block 30/40/50, A-10, B-1
Sensors: high resolution FLIR and HDTV, dual mode laser designator, laser spot tracker and laser marker

Source af.mil

Sniper XR (extended range) incorporates a high-resolution mid-wave FLIR, dual-mode laser, CCD TV, laser spot tracker and laser marker combined with advanced image processing algorithms. Deliveries began in March 2003.

F-16 fighters for Oman are equipped with BAE Systems advanced airborne reconnaissance system. Those for Poland and Morocco are equipped with the Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pod.

Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pod

Goodrich DB-110 reconnaissance pod. @f-16.net

The podded sensor flies on the F-16s of nine air forces, on the new Saudi air force F-15s, and on Japan’s P-3s. It first entered service on the Tornado strike aircraft of the UK Royal Air Force, where it is named the Raptor system.

The DB-110 derives from a much larger system flown on the U.S. Air Force’s U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, which has already been upgraded to a seven-band configuration. Its unique design offers three different fields of view, allowing for long-range standoff missions as well as medium-range operations and direct overflight at low level. A generic recce interface allows today’s digital combat aircraft to recognize the DB-110 pod as a weapons store, thereby eliminating the need for a cockpit control panel–a boon for pilots of single-seat fighters flying busy, low-level missions. Source ainonline.com

Illustrating the long-range standoff capability of the DB-110, this image of Long Beach, California (left) was taken by an F-16 flying at 40,000 feet and 130 kilometers away. Image: ainonline.comca8ae5c0f97c3303b7ae6dcdb298dfa3

The Goodrich DB-110 is a compact, day/night, two-axis stabilized, real-time, tactical reconnaissance pod system suitable for installation aboard fighter aircraft such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon. This observation system has been designed for operations at medium and high altitude (10,000- to 80,000-ft) and low subsonic and supersonic speed (0.1 to 1.6 Mach) delivering high resolution infrared and visible bands imagery at extremely long ranges.

The DB-110 recce pod’s latest customers are the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) which uses the pod on modified P-3C maritime patrol aircraft variant and the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF uses the pod aboard the Tornado Gr4 multi-role aircraft as the Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado (RAPTOR). Source deagel.com


Block 50 F-16 aircraft for the USA are equipped with the Lockheed Martin superheterodyne AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver. The F-16 is also compatible with a range of jammers and electronic countermeasures equipment, including Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131, Raytheon AN/ALQ-184, Elisra SPS 3000 and Elta EL/L-8240, and the Northrop Grumman ALQ-165 self-protection suite.

Danish Air Force F-16 launch the BriteCloud 218: Here

AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver

Lockheed Martin superheterodyne AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver @media.defenceindustrydaily.com

AN/ALQ-131 jammer and electronic countermeasures equipment

Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131 jammer and electronic countermeasures equipment @.northropgrumman.com


Raytheon AN/ALQ-184

Lockheed Martin ALE-40 and ALE-47 chaff and infrared flare dispenser systems are installed in an internal flush mount. ALE-40 is pilot-controlled but the ALE-47 installed in block 50 can be operated in fully-automatic, semi-automatic or manual mode.

AN/ALE-40 Counter Measure Dispenser System (CMDS)

The AN/ALE-40 Counter Measure Dispenser System (CMDS) provides expendable counter measures stores and dispensing for multiple aircraft platforms. The AN/ALE-40 system is a means by which the pilot can release chaff or flare, depending on the threat type, to counter any homing of a missile to the plane. This is a very simple yet effective system. Chaff looks like millions of tiny strands of aluminum foil and each strip is cut to length to match the various wavelengths of the radar. Using chaff to combat radar was used as early as WWII and still proves very effective against nearly all radar threats. Flares are white hot magnesium that are designed to defeat a missile’s infra-red (IR) tracking mechanisms.This system is manufactured by Tracor. Source fas.org

ALE-47 chaff and infrared flare dispenser systems

The device is used by all the U.S. military services, as well as 20 other countries. It ALE-47 adds software to the earlier AN/ALE-40, but adds considerable intelligence. It also can use the expendable cartridges built for the ALE-40 and ALE-39. This earlier generation of cartridges did not have their own computers, but were simple flares or radar-reflecting chaff bundles.

New cartridges, such as the RT-1489/ALE (GEN-X) expendable decoy, intelligently retransmit a radar signal that reproduces the reflection for which a semi-active radar homing missile is aiming. Cartridges for various electronic intelligence functions are being built to the same form factor, as well as the CADDIE chemical sensors described below.

It replaces the older towed ALE-50 with the AN/ALE-55, which remains connected to the aircraft electronic warfare computers. Source citizendium.org

F-16s for the Greek Air Force are being fitted with the Raytheon advanced self-protection integrated suite (ASPIS) II which includes Northrop Grumman ALR-93(V) threat warning system, Raytheon ALQ-187 jammer and BAE Systems ALE-47 chaff / flare dispenser. F-16s for Chile and Pakistan are fitted with the ITT AN/ALQ-211 (V) 4 electronic warfare suite.

Terma’s Pylon Integrated Defense System (PIDS)

pids_-on-rdaf-f-16_464_funcPIDS+ Pylon integrating MWS – Image: terma.com

As the recent development program in Denmark for the pylon-based Missile Warning System (MWS) F-16 installation for the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) followed by a similar Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNOAF) solution appeared successful, other F-16 countries have initiated a process to secure a similar solution for their fighters.

The U.S. Air National Guard as well as The Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Turkey Air Forces have announced tenders for similar protection systems. Terma believes to have a solution that will meet the requirements and needs of all three air forces

The solution is based on a derivative of the Terma developed Pylon Integrated Dispensing System (PIDS). Pylons on stations 3 and 7 are equipped with each three Missile Warning sensors, providing an almost spherical protection against infra-red guided missile attacks. The concept was initially developed by Terma when the European F-16 users and U.S. Air National Guard conducted a feasibility program to evaluate if this Missile Warner System installation could perform satisfactorily. Source terma.com

p1682835The Flare Up kit adds downward-canted IR flare dispensers into the PIDS+ pylon. (Terma) – Source: janes.com

F-16 Pylon Integrated Dispensing System with missile warning sensors. Each pylon contains three UV missile warning sensors and two chaff/flare magazines. Full weapons carrying capability is retained.  Source terma.com

AN/AAR-60(V)2 MILDS-F ultra-violet (UV) missile warning system


In cooperation with Airbus Defence & Space, Harris now offers the AN/AAR-60(V)2 missile warning solution for an integrated infrared countermeasure system for the defense of tactical fighter aircraft. AN/AAR-60(V)2 detects and tracks incoming IR-guided threats, alerts the aircrew quickly on the direction of arrival, and initiates the countermeasure automatically. The system, which has up to six sensors is already in operational use with various air forces operating F-16 aircraft and is optimized for installation on pylons and pods, as well as for fuselage mounting on fighter-type aircraft.


System benefits of the missile warning system:

  • Fast Detection and Declaration
  • Automatic Countermeasures Initiation
  • Crew Alert
  • Sufficient Warning Time
  • Low False Alarm Rate
  • High Angular Accuracy
  • Full Spherical Coverage
  • Fits on Pylons or Aircraft Body
  • High Mean Time Between Failure
  • Data and Technology Releases to Customer

Source harris.com

RNLAF F-16 fighters to upgrade to PIDS+ standard missile warning system and flare dispenser kit on PIDSU pylons: Here


The Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68 radar provides 25 separate air-to-air and air-to-ground modes, including long-range, all-aspect detection and tracking, simultaneous multiple-target tracking, and high-resolution ground mapping. The planar antenna array is installed in the nose of the aircraft.

AN-APG-68 radar, Westinghouse, 1978 - National Electronics Museum - DSC00415.JPGNorthrop Grumman AN/APG-68 radar @wikipedia.org

The AN/APG-68 radar is a long range (up to 296 km) Pulse-doppler radar designed by Westinghouse (now Northrop Grumman) to replace AN/APG-66 radar in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The AN/APG-68(V)8 and earlier radar system consists of the following line-replaceable units:

  • Antenna
  • Dual Mode Transmitter (DMT)
  • Modular Low-power radio frequency (MLPRF)
  • Programmable signal processor (PSP)
AN/APG-68(V)9 RadarAN/APG-68(V)9 @northropgrumman.com

The AN/APG-68(V)9 radar system consists of the following line-replaceable units:

  • Antenna
  • Medium Duty Transmitter (MDT)
  • Modular Receiver/Exciter (MoRE)
  • Common Radar Processor (CoRP)

The AN/APG-68(V)9 radar is the latest development. Besides the increase in scan range compared to the previous version, it has a Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability.

The APG-68(V)9 has equipped several variants, including the F-16D Block 52+s of the Israeli Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Turkish Air Force, Moroccan Air Force and Greek Air Force, Pakistan Air Force,F-16C/D Block 52+s of the Polish Air Force and F-16 A/B Block 15 MLU of the Royal Thai Air Force 

  • Frequency: Starting Envelope frequency around 9.86 GHz.
  • Under AIS Testing as high as 26 GHz
  • Range: 296.32 km, 184 miles
  • Range for 5m2 aerial target is 105km
  • Search cone: 120 degrees × 120 degrees
  • Azimuth angular coverage: ±10 degrees / ± 30 degrees / ± 60 degrees

Source wikipedia.org

1397740593-1913395615-oF-16 A/B Block 15 MLU of the Royal Thai Air Force – NOTE: Under wing pylon armed with IRIS-T missile

IRIS-T Missile

The IRIS-T (Infra Red Imaging System Tail/Thrust Vector-Controlled) is a German-led program to develop a short-range infrared homing air-to-air missile to replace the venerable AIM-9 Sidewinder found in some NATO member countries. Any aircraft capable of firing the Sidewinder is also capable of launching the IRIS-T.

After German reunification in 1990, Germany found itself with large stockpiles of the Soviet Vympel R-73 missiles (NATO reporting name: AA-11 Archer) carried by the MiG-29 Fulcrum and concluded that the AA-11’s capabilities had been noticeably underestimated. In particular, it was found to be both far more maneuverable, and far more capable in terms of seeker acquisition and tracking than the latest AIM-9 Sidewinder.

In 1995, Germany announced the IRIS-T development program, in collaboration with Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Canada. Canada later dropped out, while in 2003 Spain joined as a partner for procurement. The German Air Force took first delivery of the missile on 5 December 2005.



87.4 kg


2936 mm / 2.9m


127 mm




Impact and active radar proximity fuse


Solid-fuel rocket


447 mm


~25 km

Flight altitude

Sea level to 20,000 m


Mach 3


Infrared homing


Typhoon, Tornado, F-4, F-16, NASAMS, Gripen, F-18

Source wikipedia.org

Thai F-16 Upgrade Includes German Air-to-Air Missiles: Details


An upgraded version of the radar, AN/APG-68(V)9, has begun flight testing. The upgrade features a 30% increase in detection range, five times increase in processing speed, ten times increase in memory, as well as significant improvements in all modes, jam-resistance and false alarm rate.

Norwegian F-16 Tested IRIS-T in Air-to-Ground Targets: Here


Republic of Korea (ROK) – KF-16 Upgrade Program

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on July 14, 2015.

The Government of the ROK requested a possible sale for the upgrade of 134 KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft, to include: 150 Modular Mission Computers (MMC 7000AH), 150 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA), 150 AN/APX-125 or equivalent Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Systems, 150 LN-260 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, 150 Upgraded Radar Warning Receivers (RWR), 150 AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Units, 3 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) II Group C Helmets, 150 JHMCS II Group A and B, 31 Joint Mission Planning Systems (JMPS), 5 GBU-54 Laser Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), 5 KMU-57C/B Bomb Tail Kits, 2 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Guided Test Vehicles, 8 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb Tactical Training Rounds, 2 BRU-61 Small Diameter Bomb Common Carriage Assemblies, 5 MK-82 General Purpose Practice Bombs, 2 Joint Programmable Fuzes, 2 CBU-105 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD) Sensor Fuzed Weapons (SFW), 1 CNU-411C/E, WCMD Container, 2 ATM-65 Maverick Training Missiles, 2 ATM-84 Harpoon Block II Training Missiles, 2 AGM-84 Harpoon Block II Guidance Units, 2 CATM-9X-2 Captive Air Training Missiles, and 1 AIM-9X-2 Guidance Unit.

Modular Mission Computers (MMC 7000AH)

A cost-effective mid-life update for the F-16, the MMC delivers enhanced computing power to the aircraft’s avionics and weapon systems. As a member of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 team, Raytheon developed a single high-performance system to replace the fighter jet’s three original computers. The MMC’s advanced features — and potential for expansion — enable the F-16 to meet present and future mission challenges.

For pilots, the MMC significantly improves situational awareness, air-to-air capabilities, targeting accuracy and information. Equipped with this powerful computer, the F-16 can take greater advantage of such growth technologies as helmet-mounted cueing systems, advanced weapons loads, reconnaissance pods and forward-looking infrared targeting and navigation systems. Source raytheon.com

Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (AESA) AN/APG-83

The new contract also sees the Koreans drop the Raytheon produced AN/APG-68 radar for the AN/APG-83 produced by Northrop Grumman. Source defenceindustrydaily.com

Unlike traditional mechanically scanned radars, SABR’s electronic scanning eliminates the need for moving parts. The single, consolidated line-replaceable unit contains the receiver, exciter, and process functions. Solid-state electronics foster three- to five-times greater reliability versus current fire-control radar systems. Electronically scanned beams accelerate area searches, resulting in earlier and longer range target detections and tracking. This also ensures rapid target updates and enables interleaved mode operations for greater mission effectiveness, situational awareness, and survivability.

SABR utilizes a larger-area, high-definition, synthetic aperture radar capability named “BIG SAR.” This alternative mode provides pilots with detailed target areas and digital map displays that can be precisely tailored. This, too, enables greater situational awareness, as well as more flexibility and quicker all-weather targeting.  Source Lockheed Martin

AN/APX-125 or equivalent Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) Systems

AI BAE APX-113 24 April 2013.jpg.scale.LARGE

Combined Interrogator Transponders (CIT)

The AN/APX-125 CIT was adapted from the BAE Systems APX-113 IFF interrogator and transponder. These CITs give the warfighter added ability to identify friendly aircraft in a secure environment.  The AN/APX-125 is fully Mode 5 capable. Source baesystems.com

LN-260 Advanced Embedded INS/GPS (EGI)

The LN-260 is a high performance, low cost INS/GPS that utilizes the state-of-the-art fiber-optic gyroscope (FOG)-based inertial navigation sensor assembly with 24 channel Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS. The LN-260 combines all of the latest SAASM capabilities, including enhanced Complementary Navigation Message.

The LN-260 sensor components offer the highest performance and reliability, lightest weight, lowest power INS/GPS available on the market. The non-dithered, low noise FOG technology eliminates self-induced acceleration and velocity noise. This results in superior navigation and Synthetic Aperture Radar stabilization performance as well as the most accurate target location.

LN-260 advantages

Northrop Grumman’s proven and lightweight INS/GPS has several advantages over its competitors. Our fiber-optic gyro is developed from the latest, proven fiber-optic technology and weighs less than 26 lb (11.79 kg). The LN-260 is equipped with three independent navigation solutions: blended INS/GPS, INS only and GPS only. Our INS/GPS solution provides more accurate velocity measurements, superior anti-jamming capabilities and has been highly reliable on each of its military platforms. Source northropgrumman.com

AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Unit

AN-ALQ-213 EW Management Unit

The Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS) ALQ-213 product family is the core system of Terma’s integrated Electronic Warfare (EW) systems solutions. As a subsystem and aircraft independent system, the ALQ-213 integrates individual subsystems into one combined system. The pilot has one single interface to all self-protection subsystems which results in increased survivability and reduced stress on the pilot in critical situations.

In collaboration with a large number of end users and aircraft manufacturers, the performance and capabilities of Terma’s EWMS have continuously been expanded over the past two decades. Today, the product represents the most common and mature Electronic Warfare management system in the market.

One Coherent System Solution
The ALQ-213 management system manages all subsystems automatically and displays alerts, status, etc. as one coherent system instead of a number of individual subsystems.

Cost-Effective Solutions
Terma’s management system is unique in the sense that, on one hand, it creates an integrated systems solution, but on the other hand, it does not need to be tightly integrated into the aircraft’s main control software. This means low integration costs as well as increased flexibility for the users.

Commonality across Platforms
The uniqueness of the ALQ-213 family of controllers is that the same product can be used across a mixed fleet of aircraft (fighters, helicopters, and fixed wing transport aircraft) because the products have been developed for generic solutions rather than dedicated platforms.

Freedom of Choice
The ALQ-213 allows for integration of any EW subsystem (Radar-, Missile-, Laser Warning, Direct InfraRed CounterMeasures systems, Jammers, Decoys, and Dispensers) enabling us to deliver the solution that best meet operational requirements and budget.

A Total EW Package
As a mature product, the ALQ-213 product family comes with all necessary tools supporting all phases of the flight from planning, recording, training, and analysis for continuous optimization of the operational performance.  Source terma.com

Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS)

image 1

For full ROK upgrade program article: HERE

Navigation and communications

The F-16 was the first operational US aircraft to receive a global positioning system (GPS). The aircraft has an inertial navigation system and either a Northrop Grumman (Litton) LN-39, LN-93 ring laser gyroscope or Honeywell H-423.

“The F-16 Fighting Falcon carries the Lockheed Martin LANTIRN infrared navigation and targeting system.”

Other navigation equipment includes a BAE Systems Terprom digital terrain navigation system, Gould AN/APN-232 radar altimeter, a Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-118 tactical air navigation system (TACAN) and Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-108 instrument landing system.

Gould AN/APN-232 radar altimeter

The communications systems include the Raytheon UHF AN/ARC-164 receiver / transmitter and Rockwell Collins VHF AM/FM AN/ARC-186 together with AN/APX101 identification friend or foe (IFF) and encryption / secure communications systems. The AN/APX-101 is being upgraded with BAE Systems AN/APX-113.

Link 16 communications are now allowed for all foreign F-16: Here


Link 16 is a standardized communications link for the transmission and exchange of real time tactical data among network participants (also known as TADIL J) and uses Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) to provide multiple, simultaneous communication paths through different nets.

Link 16 is the standard by which other systems are measured for airborne situational awareness. In fact, Link 16 has been credited by the U.S. Air Force as being a significant factor in saving lives in Afghanistan due to increased situational awareness provided by the system.

Compared to other communications link waveforms, Link 16:

  • improves security
  • improves jam resistance
  • improves situational awareness
  • increases data throughput
  • increases capacity of information exchanged
  • provides secure voice capability, relative navigation capability, and precise participant location and identification

Link 16 operates over-the-air in the L band portion (969 – 1206 MHz) of the UHF spectrum (excluding the 1030/1090 frequencies as these are used for IFF).

DLS has provided Link 16 terminals for 40 different platforms in 30 different countries plus various NATO organizations with product offerings that include:

  • Multi-functional Information Distribution System (MIDS)
  • Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) Class 2 family
  • URC-138 Link 16 terminal
  • Ancillary equipment
  • Global Service and Support

DLS is also a leader in migrating MIDS technology to the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS).

Source datalinksolutions.net

6666Image: globalmilitarycommunications.comfigure-8-mids-lvt-platform-integration-requirementsImage: researchgate.netfigure-11-mids-platform-integration-scheme-for-the-fa-18Image: researchgate.net


The aircraft is powered by a single engine: the General Electric F110-GE-129 or Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-229. The fuel supply is equipped with an inert gas anti-fire system. An inflight refuelling probe is installed in the top of the fuselage.

General Electric F110-GE-129

General Electric F110-GE-129 @4erevolution.com

Thrust Class (lb)


 Length (Inches)


  Airflow (lb./sec)


 Max Diameter (Inches)


 Bypass Ratio



F100-PW-229 @f-16.net

The F100-PW-229 is lighter and more powerful than earlier F100s, and had been flying at Edwards AFB since mid-1990 in test ship #81-0816. Both engines are rated at 29,000lbs of thrust (129kN).

This version first appeared in late 1990. It was unofficially designated F-16CJ/DJ for the same reason as the Block 40/42 unofficial designation. The first Block 50/52 F-16 rolled out of the Fort Worth facility on October 31, 1991 (#90-0801). Production of this version is still ongoing and will be expanded well beyond 2005 with the latest aircraft delivered to Greece and Israel. Source f-16.net

Lockheed Martin completed developmental flight testing on new conformal fuel tanks (CFT) for the F-16, which will significantly add to the aircraft’s mission radius. First flight of the F-16 equipped with the new tanks was in March 2003. Greece is the launch customer for the CFT.


Primary Function: Multi-role fighter
Prime Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Power Plant: F-16C/D: 1x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or 1x General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust: F100-PW-229: 29,100 pounds; F110-GE-129: 29,500 pounds
Wingspan: 32 ft 8 in (9.8 m)
Length: 49 ft 5 in (14.8 m)
Height: 16 ft (4.8 m)
Weight (Empty): 19,700 lbs (9,208 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW): 37,500 lbs (21,773 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 7,000 lbs internal (3,175 kg); Typical capacity: 12,000 lbs (5,443 kg) with two external fuel tanks
Speed: Mach 2/1,303 kts/1,500 mph (2,415 km/h) at altitude
Service Ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,240+ m)
Range: Ferry: 1,740+ nm/2,002+ miles (3,224+ km)
Combat Radius: 295 nm/339 miles (547 km)
Crew: F-16C: One; F-16D: Two

Specification source fi-aeroweb.com

F-16 Fighting Falcon international orders and deliveries

“The F-16 Fighting Falcon is the world’s most prolific fighter.”

Israel, with the world’s largest F-16 fleet outside the USAF, has ordered 110 F-16I aircraft, of which the first was delivered in December 2003. These aircraft have Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines, Elbit avionics, Elisra electronic warfare systems and Rafael weapons and sensors, including Litening II laser target designator pods. Italy leased 34 aircraft until the first tranche of Eurofighter deliveries are completed.

In December 2005, Greece ordered a further 30 block 52+ fighters (20 F-16C single seat and 10 F-16D two-seat) to be delivered from 2009. Under the Peace Xenia IV purchase programme, the total number of fighters ordered by Greece’s HAF (Hellenic Air Force) rose to 170. The first Peace Xenia IV F-16 Block 52 advanced aircraft was delivered on 19 March 2009. The remaining aircraft were delivered by 2010.

In June 2005, Pakistan requested the foreign military sale (FMS) of 36 F-16C/D block 50/52 aircraft. In June 2006, the Pentagon notified congress of its intention to agree the sale and Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract for 12 F-16C and six F-16D block 52 aircraft in December 2006. The aircraft are armed with AMRAAM and Sidewinder missiles and the Sniper targeting pod. The planned order of the second 18 aircraft was cancelled.

Realistic training with Red Flag

A two-ship of Israeli air force F-16s from Ramon Air Base, Israel, head out to the Nevada Test and Training Range, July 17 during Red Flag 09-4. Red Flag is a realistic combat training exercise involving the air forces of the United States and its allies. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Kevin J. Gruenwald)

In September 2006, Turkey requested the sale of an additional 30 advanced block 50 F-16 aircraft. The order was signed in May 2007. The aircraft were delivered in 2011 and 2012. The total cost of these additional aircraft is estimated at more than $2.9bn excluding Turkey’s $1.1bn upgrade programme for its existing F-16 fleet.

In December 2007, Morocco requested the sale of 24 F-16C/D block 50/52 aircraft. The deal includes the aircraft, mission equipment and a support package provided by Lockheed Martin and other US and international contractors. The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) placed a $233.6m order in June 2008.

The F-16IN Super Viper, which is a development of block 60, has been designed for the Indian Air force. It is a fourth-generation fighter that meets the medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) requirements. It includes Northrop Grumman APG-80 AESA radar and General Electric F110-132A engine with 32,000lb of thrust.

Various F-16 upgrade and modernisation programmes are underway in Turkey, Pakistan and Jordan, and within the US Air Force. Future upgrades include air refuelling probes, auxiliary power unit, auto ground collision avoidance systems and automatic manoeuvring attack.

RSAF F-16D Block 52 #664 from 145 sqn @f-16.net

Lockheed Martin handed over the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force in June 2014.

In December 2015, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics was awarded a $914m fixed-price incentive and cost-plus contract to upgrade F-16 aircraft for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Work is scheduled for completion by June 2023.

F16TNIIndonesian Air Force F-16 Block 25 upgraded to Block 50/52 of which Indonesia received a total of 24 planes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2011 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Nov. 16 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Indonesia for the regeneration and upgrade of 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $750 million.

The Government of Indonesia has requested a sale for the regeneration and upgrade of 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft and 28 F100-PW-200 or F100-PW-220E engines being granted as Excess Defense Articles. The upgrade includes the following major systems and components: LAU-129A/A Launchers, ALR-69 Radar Warning Receivers, ARC-164/186 Radios, Expanded Enhanced Fire Control (EEFC) or Commercial Fire Control, or Modular Mission Computers, ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management Systems, ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser Systems, Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD), Situational Awareness Data Link, Enhance Position Location Reporting Systems (EPLRS), LN-260 (SPS version, non-PPS), and AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER or AN/AAQ-28 LITENING Targeting Systems. Also included are tools, support and test equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated cost is $750 million.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by improving the security of a strategic partner that has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress in Southeast Asia. Source dsca.mil

F-16 common configuration implementation programme (CCIP)

A total of 650 USAF Block 40/50 F-16s are being upgraded under the common configuration implementation programme (CCIP). The first phase of the programme (first aircraft completed in January 2002) provides core computer and colour cockpit modifications.

The second phase, which began in September 2002, involved fitting the advanced AN/APX-113 interrogator / transponder and Lockheed Martin Sniper XR advanced FLIR targeting pod.

The third, which started in July 2003, adds Link 16 datalink, the Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system and an electronic horizontal situation indicator. Operational testing of the M3 upgraded fighters was completed in September 2004. Deliveries were completed in 2010.

A216 Block 40/50 F-16 aircraft of the Turkish Air Force are to be upgraded with elements of the CCIP, under an agreement reached in April 2005. Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to supply the modernisation kits in December 2006. The upgrade is scheduled for completion in 2016.

The export version of the Sniper XR pod, the PANTERA, has been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force. The first was delivered in November 2003.

Block 50/52 is the eighth major modification block of the F-16 that incorporates colour cockpit displays, new electronic warfare suite, advanced weapons and sensors and more powerful engines.

F-16E/F Block 60 upgrade

The block 60 F-16E/F, which is being developed for the United Arab Emirates, features extra payload and range, in part due to the new F110-132 engine being developed by General Electric, which produces 145kN of thrust.

Mitsubishi F-2: Details


F-16E/F: Details


New avionics for the block 60 includes a higher-speed mission computer, a new display processor, three large colour LCD displays, and an advanced data transfer unit with a fibre-optic data transfer network. Precision targeting is achieved by the Northrop Grumman integrated navigation FLIR and targeting FLIR system using mid-wave infrared arrays and Northrop Grumman’s APG-80 agile beam active electronically scanned (AESA) radar.

Northrop Grumman is providing the integrated electronic warfare suite. First flight of the block 60 aircraft took place in December 2003. Deliveries of 80 block 60 aircraft to the UAE began in May 2005 and concluded in 2009.

F-16V: Details 


Updated Jun 15, 2018

Main material source: airforce-technology.com