The United States Air Force installed an in-flight software update for the F-16 Fighting Falcon’s Electronic Warfare System as part of an Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) demonstration.
During a recent test sortie at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada the update was transmitted via a Beyond Line of Sight satellite communication system.
The F-16 received the update from the Hill Software Integration Lab, processing the data with custom-made Center Display Unit software and loading it onto an ALQ-213 Countermeasures Signal Processor.
Significant First Step
“The ingenuity and skills of the Flight Test and Program Teams enabled a Viper to land with better capabilities than it took off with,” F-16 System program manager Col. Tim Bailey said. “This techno-marvel was done with existing systems in much of the Viper fleet, with no hardware mod. required. This is a significant first step!”
The concept of providing the F-16 with a real-time software update was once only a bar-napkin idea. However, with this first successful update, installing the same seamless update on an entire fleet of F-16s now seems well within reach.
The end goal of the program is to have full ABMS integration on the F-16. This will improve the longevity and relevance of the aircraft, keeping them war-ready for longer.