Vision Systems International (VSI), the joint venture company of Rockwell Collins and Elbit Systems of America, is displaying the advanced helmet-mounted display system (HMDS) of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other helmet display systems at its Farnborough International airshow.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
Morocco and the U.S. government have signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) to purchase Raytheon’s AIM-9X Block II Sidewinder infrared guided air-to-air missile for the country’s Lockheed Martin F-16s. This makes Morocco the fourth country to purchase the Block II and the eleventh to purchase AIM-9X, although the quantity is undisclosed.
In April, Lockheed Martin celebrated the delivery of its 4,500th F-16 Fighting Falcon, attesting to the longevity of the fourth generation, multirole fighter. Now the company is working to extend that legacy with the U.S. Air Force and to stretch the production of F-16 export versions.
According to the latest GAO report, the program acquisition unit cost (PAUC) of the F-35 will be $161 million. That figure includes amortization of the development cost across the expected production run. But how much should acquisition officials reckon to pay for their F-35s, going forward? Of course, that will depend what F-35 variant they buy, in what quantity and when.
The Hawker Beechcraft T-6C here at the Farnborough International Airshow flew across the Atlantic Ocean to join the company’s static display, demonstrating the single-engine turboprop trainer’s versatility. Its appearance at the show happens against the backdrop of the still unresolved question of whether the U.S.
BAE Systems is competing against Lockheed Martin to be the prime contractor for Korea’s forthcoming upgrade of some 130 F-16s. Attention has focused largely on the competition between Northrop Grumman and Raytheon to supply the AESA radar. But the Korean request for proposals also invited non-OEMs to bid as system integrator. Taiwan and the U.S. are also planning a similar upgrade to some 140 and 300 aircraft, respectively. Other F-16 operators may follow, making this a multibillion-dollar market.
The Pakistan Air Force received the last of 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 fighters from Lockheed Martin in early February. Accompanying the aircraft on its delivery flight were two PAF F-16A Block 15s that have undergone the mid-life update process in the U.S. A few days later, the PAF also accepted the first of its F-16s to undergo an avionics and structure upgrade in Turkey.
Lockheed Martin yesterday unveiled a new version of the evergreen F-16 Fighting Falcon designated the F-16V. The new moniker is derived from the fighter’s long-standing unofficial nickname: Viper. It will apply to existing aircraft that are upgraded with AESA radars, and new builds. The F-16V will also include a new mission computer and cockpit display.
Pratt & Whitney’s engines power a wide range of military aircraft in operation around the world, but 2011’s developments in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II program made the company’s year–especially as its F135 became the sole powerplant for all three Lockheed Martin JSF variants: the conventional F-35A, STOVL F-35B and carrier-based (CV) F-35C.
Aviation novels and novelists are rare. Even more rare are aviation novelists who are also corporate pilots and fighter pilots.
- Page 1