Wednesday, April 12, 2017

USAF to life extend the F-16 to make it flyable till 2048!

via Press Release.
The U.S. Air Force authorized extending the service life of the Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) F-16's designed service life to 12,000 Equivalent Flight Hours — far beyond the aircraft's original design service life of 8,000 hours.

Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also reduced projected service life costs for the Block 40-52 fleet, paving the way for safe, cost-effective F-16 flight operations decades into the future.

"This accomplishment is the result of more than seven years of test, development, design, analysis and partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin," said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program. "Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly capable and affordable 4th Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers."

Validation of the extended flight hour limit directly supports the SLEP goal of extending the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft. SLEP and related avionics upgrades to the Air Force's F-16C/D fleet can safely and effectively augment the current fighter force structure as U.S. and allied combat air fleets recapitalize with F-35 Lightning IIs.
Seems like my contention that the F-35 will not meet operational requirements is coming true.  If it did then why the plan to life extend the F-16?

Spare me the talk of a high low force mix!  The reality is simple.  If the F-35 delivered at the price point they're talking about then they would neck down to that one airplane...especially if its capabilities actually met the talking points of the generals!

If the F-35 is trash and this is another piece of evidence proving me right.

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