First F-16 Block 70 Jet Makes Maiden Flight

F-16 Block 70


F-16 Block 70
F-16 Block 70 first flight (Picture credit score: Lockheed Martin)

The brand new F-16 Block 70 is the world’s latest and most superior manufacturing F-16.

On Jan. 24, 2023, at 09.17AM ET, the primary F-16 Block 70 jet carried out its inaugural flight from the Lockheed Martin’s Greenville, South Carolina web site. Piloted Lockheed Martin check pilots Dwayne “Professional” Opella and Monessa “Siren” Balzhiser, the plane remained airborne for about 50 minutes conducting numerous airworthiness checks, together with engine, flight management and gasoline system checks, in addition to fundamental plane dealing with.

Whereas the one from Greenville on Jan. 24 was the primary flight of a model new Block 70 jet (the primary of 16 new Preventing Falcons to be delivered to Bahrain – for that reason it sports activities the Royal Bahraini Air Power coloration scheme), at the least two totally upgraded F-16V Block 72 Viper fighter jets were delivered to the Hellenic Air Force starting in September 2022. These plane are the primary of 83 being upgraded from the Block 52+ to the newest commonplace, with work being finished regionally by the Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI) at Tanagra, supported by Lockheed Martin.

F-16 Block 70 first flight. (Picture credit score: Lockheed Martin)

General, six international locations have chosen Block 70/72 plane. Along with the present official backlog of 128 jets to-date to be inbuilt Greenville, Jordan final yr signed a Letter of Supply and Acceptance (LOA) for eight jets and final week signed an extra LOA for 4 extra jets, in keeping with LM. Lockheed Martin has obtained a contract to start Jordan’s long-lead actions. Bulgaria has additionally signed an LOA for an extra eight jets for its fleet. As soon as these are finalized, the backlog will improve to 148.

The F-16 Block 70/72 are probably the most superior manufacturing Vipers (because the F-16s are dubbed inside the fighter pilot group) that includes the APG-83 AESA (Energetic Electronically Scanned Array) radar, a brand new Middle Pedestal Show (CPD), the AN/APX-126 Superior IFF (Identification Buddy or Foe), Hyperlink 16 datalink, full NVIS (Evening Imaginative and prescient Imaging System) and JHCMS II (Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System II) compatibility, a brand new Embedded GPS/INS (EGI), a contemporary industrial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a high-volume, high-speed knowledge bus and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).

“At the moment’s profitable flight is a testomony of the exhausting work, dedication and dedication to our clients and their missions,” stated OJ Sanchez, vp, Built-in Fighter Group, which incorporates the F-16 program, in a LM assertion. “This milestone demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s dedication to advancing this program and getting this much-needed plane and its superior twenty first Century Safety capabilities to the warfighter.”

David Cenciotti is a journalist based mostly in Rome, Italy. He’s the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of many world’s most well-known and browse army aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for main worldwide magazines, together with Air Forces Month-to-month, Fight Plane, and lots of others, masking aviation, protection, conflict, business, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown a number of fight planes with totally different air forces. He’s a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Power, a non-public pilot and a graduate in Pc Engineering. He has written 5 books and contributed to many extra ones.


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