07 Agustus 2009

S. Korea To Develop F-16 Simulators

7 Agustus 2009

F-16 simulators built by L-3 Link Simulation & Training today are supporting the US Air Force and Air National Guard, in addition to many allied nations that operate the platform (photo : Airforcetimes)

SEOUL - South Korea will develop a dozen of its own F-16/KF-16 fighter flight simulators by 2014 to help pilots keep up with fighter upgrades and conduct sustainable training amid high oil prices, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said Aug. 4.

The agency awarded Korea Aerospace Industries, the country's only aircraft maker, a 130 billion won ($106 million) contract, to develop up-to-date flight simulators and unit training devices for F-16/KF-16 pilots, as well as upgrade existing simulation systems, according to a news release.

Previously, South Korean airmen used flight simulators developed by Raytheon, a DAPA spokesman said.

The new systems will help pilots practice tactical flight, emergency landing, and normal landing and take-off, the release said.

Mass production will begin after the improvement and development of the new simulators are completed by November 2014, it added.

"Once entering service, the new simulators are expected to not only help resolve the shortage of flight training for pilots, resulted from high oil prices, but also improve pilots' aircraft operational capabilities to an extent," it said.

The South Korean Air Force operates an older fleet of 34 Block 32 F-16s purchased in the 1980s and a newer fleet of 135 KF-16s manufactured locally to the Block 52 standard from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

Earlier this year, the Air Force unveiled plans to upgrade KF-16 fighters. The upgrades will include arming the aircraft with precision-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions and other guided weapons.

Another key upgrade is a replacement for the fighter's existing APG-68(v)5/(v)7 radar systems.

(Defense News)

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