10 Oktober 2011

F-16 Fighting Falcon Variants : Block 15, Block 25, Block 30/32, Block 50/52

10 Oktober 2011

F-16A block 15 Indonesian Air Force (photo : Scramble)

F-16A/B
The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initially equipped with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 pulse-doppler radar, Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan, rated at 14,670 lbf (64.9 kN) and 23,830 lbf (106.0 kN) with afterburner. The USAF bought 674 F-16As and 121 F-16Bs, with delivery completed in March 1985.

F-16A/B Block 15
The first major change in the F-16, the Block 15 aircraft featured larger horizontal stabilizers, the addition of two hardpoints to the chin inlet, an improved AN/APG-66(V)2 radar, and increased capacity for the underwing hardpoints. The Block 15 also gained the Have Quick II secure UHF radio. To counter the additional weight of the new hardpoints, the horizontal stabilizers were enlarged by 30%. Block 15 is the most numerous variant of the F-16, with 983 produced. The last one was delivered in 1996 to Thailand.

F-16C/D
F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat).

F-16C block 25 Air National Guard (photo : Air and Space)

F-16C/D Block 25
The Block 25 F-16C first flew in June 1984 and entered USAF service in September. The aircraft are fitted with the Westinghouse AN/APG-68 radar and have improved precision night-attack capability. Block 25 introduced a very substantial improvement in cockpit avionics, including improved fire-control and stores management computers, an Up-Front Controls (UFC) integrated data control panel, data-transfer equipment, multifunction displays, radar altimeter, and many other changes. Block 25’s were first delivered with the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 engine and later upgraded to the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220E. With 209 models delivered, today the USAF’s Air National Guard and Air Education and Training Command are the only remaining users of this variant. One F-16C, nicknamed the Lethal Lady, had flown over 7,000 hours by April 2008.

F-16C/D Block 30/32

F-16C block 32 Air National Guard (photo : Luke Getsno)

Three U.S. Air Force F-16 Block 30 aircraft fly in formation over South Korea, 2008
This was the first block of F-16s affected by the Alternative Fighter Engine project under which aircraft were fitted with the traditional Pratt & Whitney engines or, for the first time, the General Electric F110-GE-100. From this point on, blocks ending in "0" (e.g., Block 30) are powered by GE, and blocks ending in "2" (e.g., Block 32) are fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines.

The first Block 30 F-16 entered service in 1987. Major differences include the carriage of the AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-88 HARM, and the AIM-120 missiles. From Block 30D, aircraft were fitted with larger engine air intakes (called a Modular Common Inlet Duct) for the increased-thrust GE engine. Since the Block 32 retained the Pratt and Whitney F-100 engine, the smaller (normal shock inlet) was retained for those aircraft. A total of 733 aircraft were produced and delivered to six countries. The Block 32H/J aircraft assigned to the USAF Thunderbird flight demonstration squadron were built in 1986 and 1987 and are some of the oldest operational F-16s in the Air Force. The Air National Guard procured many upgrades for their fleet of aging block 30/32s including the addition of improved inertial guidance systems, improved electronic warfare suite (AN/ALQ-213), and upgrades to carry the Northrop Grumman LITENING targeting pod. The standard Inertial Navigation Unit (INU) was first changed to a ring laser gyro, and later upgraded again to an Embedded GPS/INS (EGI) system which combines a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver with an Inertial Navigation System (INS). The EGI provided the capability to use Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and other GPS-aided munitions (see Block 50 list below). This capability, in combination with the LITENING targeting pod, greatly enhanced the capabilities of this aircraft. The sum of these modifications to the baseline Block 30 is commonly known as the F-16C++ (pronounced "plus plus") version.

F-16C/D Block 50/52

F-16C block 52 USAF (photo : tvl1970)

The first Block 50/52 F-16 was delivered in late 1991; the aircraft are equipped with improved GPS/INS, and the aircraft can carry a further batch of advanced missiles: the AGM-88 HARM missile, JDAM, JSOW and WCMD.Block 50 aircraft are powered by the F110-GE-129 while the Block 52 jets use the F100-PW-229.

F-16C/D Block 50/52 Plus

F-16C block 52 plus RSAF (photo : TouchDown Aviation)

This variant, which is also known as the Block 50/52+. Its main differences are the addition of support for conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), a dorsal spine compartment, the APG-68(V9) radar, an On-Board Oxygen Generation (OBOGS) system and a JHMCS helmet.

The CFTs are mounted above the wing, on both sides of the fuselage and are easily removable. They provide an additional 440 US gallon or approximately 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) of additional fuel, allowing increased range or time on station and frees up hardpoints for weapons instead of underwing fuel tanks. All two-seat "Plus" aircraft have the enlarged avionics dorsal spine compartment which is located behind the cockpit and extends to the tail. It adds 30 cu ft (850 L) to the airframe for more avionics with only small increases in weight and drag.

Poland took delivery of its first F-16C Block 52+ aircraft on 15 September 2006. The "Poland Peace Sky program" includes 36 F-16Cs and 12 F-16Ds. All 48 aircraft were delivered in 2008. The Hellenic Air Force took delivery of its first F-16C Block 52+ aircraft on 22 May 2008. The total Greek order is for 20 F-16Cs and 10 F-16Ds. The remaining 26 aircraft should be delivered by March 2010. Pakistan Air Force has order 18 F-16C/D Block 52+ which include 10 F-16C and 8 F-16D. The Israeli F-16I and its Singapore equivalent variant are based on the block 52+ aircraft.

(
Wikipedia)

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