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). @f-16.net

F-16 Greece Air force @helmo.gr

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



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).”

Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing system (JHMCS) @redstar.gr

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). @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.

USAF deploys APKWS on F-16s: HERE

@f-16.netF-16 external stores@airvectors.net

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. @airvectors.net

“Advanced Short Range AAM (ASRAAM)”

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

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. @ausairpower.net

Raytheon Sparrow

Although the AIM-7 was a splendid missile, it has one major disadvantage. Once it is fired, the aircraft must continue to illuminate the target untill impact, limiting that aircraft to straight and level flight.

For this reason the missile will slowly lose it’s overall effectiveness and will be replaced completely with the AIM-120 AMRAAM or other medium to long range fire-and-forget missiles.


Primary Function: Air-to-air missile
Contractor: Naval Weapons Center
Power Plant: Hercules and Bermite Mk 36 Mod 71, 8 solid-propellant rocket motor
Length: see table below
Launch Weight: see table below
Diameter: 8 inches (203 mm)
Wingspan: see table below
Range: see table below
Speed: see table below
Guidance System: Solid-state, infrared homing system
Warhead: Blast fragmentation


MBDA R550 Magic 2

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.

Maverick missileHARM 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


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


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)






f-16-agg960-400-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


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. @fas.org

Close up of a Swamp Fox F-16 in flight

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 (JDAM)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. @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) @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.

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.


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

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

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. @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.

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).

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



“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.

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. @f-16.net


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.

Lockheed Martin superheterodyne AN/ALR-56M radar warning receiver @media.defenceindustrydaily.comNorthrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131 jammer and electronic countermeasures equipment @.northropgrumman.comRaytheon AN/ALQ-184Raytheon 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.

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.


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 


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


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.

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)F-16 Modular Mission Computer (MMC)

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. @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. @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. (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. @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. @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.  @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.


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 @4erevolution.com

General Electric F110-GE-129

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. @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.

Greek F-16 with CFT

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.

bsizh55wtlyv4v6ck7ulF-16IN Super Viper

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. @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 Sep 09, 2016

Main material source: airforce-technology.com

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