US Air Force Modernizing Over 600 F-16 Aircraft

The US Air Force is modernizing over 600 Block 40 and 50 F-16s in one of the most extensive aircraft modernization programs ever.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Post Block Integration Team project will undertake up to 22 modifications, making the fourth-generation aircraft more lethal and effective to counter current and future challenges.

The Upgrades

The upgrades include “installing Active Electronically Scanned Array radar and Link 16 – a battlefield communication system, modernizing the cockpit and main mission computer, and converting the fleet to a high-speed data network.”

Additionally, the fighter will receive “next-generation electronic warfare capability as well as a Communication Suite Upgrade, a Center Display Unit, a Programmable Data Generator, and several other key hardware components to modernize the aircraft.”

F-16 fighter jet
A US Air Force F-16 fighter jet. Photo: AFP

Muti-Year Project

The multi-year, $6.3 billion project has already begun, involving six commands and 18 bases. 

“Making sure we have the right modifications at the right time is crucial to the warfighter,” program manager at F-16 Program Office 1st Lt. Andrew Elledge said.

“It requires effort and daily coordination to ensure there is progress and communication with all programs related to this effort across all the bases involved. While this effort is a challenge, being able to keep the F-16 in the fight with the latest and greatest technology is the driving factor.”

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