Sunday, November 4, 2012

F-16 E/F Block 60 (Desert Falcon)

F-16 E/F Block 60 aka 'Desert Falcon' is the most advanced F-16 fighter jets in the world. F-16 E/F Block 60 is a generation ahead of the F-16 C/D Block 50/52 fighter jets. UAE invested money for R&D of F-16 E/F Block 60 also known as "Desert Falcon".

It can carry more fuel and allow around 40% range increase to improve mission radius to 1,025 miles. New engine, GE F110-GE-132 turbofan jet engine can produce up to 32,500 lbs thrust to commensurate plane increase weight. This engine is a derivative of proven F110-GE-129 (29,000 lbs thrust).

Most significance changes / improvements for F-16 E/F are electronics. Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 AESA radar was the first AESA radar use in air force (UAE) beside USAF. AESA radars have more power, better range, less sidelobe / leakage, better reliability & much better combat availability more capability through software improvements compare to previous mechanical scan AN/APG-68v9 that equip most advance F-16 C/D Block 50/52.
APG-80 can perform simultaneously air & ground scan, track & targeting. An agile beam will reduces the odds of detection by enemy aircraft when radar is on.

New targeting pod, AN/ASQ IFTS, derived from LITENING AT targeting pod. IFTS targeting pod was internally positioned which can reduces drag of radar signature and free space for weapons pylon. It can use to find aerial targets and ground targets.

Advance Electronic Countermeasures System known as "Falcon Edge" Integrated Electronic Warfare System (IEWS) provides advance warning capability and automatic countermeasures release.
Helmet-Mounted Sight (HMS) provides advance capabilities with their most modern counterparts and displays information from the aircraft radar and sensors.
Avionics improvement through advanced mission computers to enhance sensor & weapon integration on colour display cockpit.  

F-16 E/F Block 60 Development

First flight of F-16 E/F Block 60 was in December 2003 and the first Desert Falcon arrived in UAE in 2005.
Variant of F-16 E/F widely promote for a few international tender like India MMRCA (F-16 IN) & Brazil FX (F-16 BR).


F-16 E/F Desert Falcon can carry AIM-120 C7 AMRAAM missile, AIM-9X ASRAAM missile, JDAM DPS-guided bombs, Paveway III dual laser/GPS guided bombs, GBU-12 Paveway II laser guidance bombs & M61A 20mm cannon.

No comments:

Post a Comment