Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. has delivered the first of 60 advanced F-16s ordered by the Hellenic Republic. The aircraft was accepted by the U.S. government on Oct. 31, on schedule.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., is a business area of Lockheed Martin Corp.
"Delivery of this aircraft on schedule is a major achievement for the entire Peace Xenia III team, which includes the General Directorate of Armaments of Greece, the Hellenic Air Force, the U.S. government, the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and our many industrial partners," said Kevin R. Dwyer, director of F-16 International Programs. "This is a major addition to the F-16 family, incorporating significant new capabilities.
"The program involves substantial development effort, and is being accomplished on a very compressed schedule to meet customer requirements. Accomplishing this only 31 months after signature of the Letter of Offer and Acceptance, and only 28 months after contract award, is unprecedented."
Fifty advanced Block 52 F-16s were placed on contract for the Hellenic Air Force in June 2000 in the Peace Xenia III Foreign Military Sales program. An optional 10 aircraft were added in September 2001. Greece has ordered a total of 140 F-16s in the three programs.
The delivered aircraft is the first of a new family of advanced Block 50/52 F-16s that have been ordered by several countries. The total change introduced by the new Greek version is, in many ways, the largest in the history of the F-16 program. Other major changes occurred at Block 25 (the first F-16C/D models, delivered in 1984), Block 40/42 (first delivered in 1988) and the original Block 50/52 (first delivered in 1991).
Key features of this advanced Block 52 version for Greece include: -- APG-68(V)9 multimode radar -- significant increase in detection range, highly accurate synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode, and large increases in growth and reliability. SAR capability allows autonomous delivery of precision, all-weather, standoff weapons. -- New core avionics centered on the latest version of the modular mission computer -- most capability available for fighter aircraft today, with large growth potential, plus high reliability and maintainability. -- Modern cockpit -- color flat-panel multifunction displays, night vision imaging system compatibility -- provides high pilot situation awareness in complex air battle situations. -- Helmet-mounted cueing system -- enhanced pilot situation awareness and employment of high-off-boresight weapons, both air-to-air and air-to- ground. -- IRIS-T high off-boresight air-to-air missile -- lethality and survivability in the dynamic, multibogey air combat environment. -- ASPIS internal electronic countermeasures suite (full provisions) -- high survivability with low impact on flight performance. -- On-board oxygen generating system (OBOGS) -- improved maintainability, deployability and safety. -- Conformal fuel tanks and 600-gallon wing tanks -- greatly extended mission range and persistence, plus increased payloads and stores flexibility. -- F100-PW-229 engine -- proven high thrust, reliability, maintainability, durability, safety, operability and life-cycle costs. -- Missionized rear cockpit for weapon system operator and dorsal avionics compartment (two-seat model) -- doubles as special mission capability version and fully combat-equipped operational trainer.
"Per customer request, we are delivering many of the more complex two-seat aircraft early to support operational training. In addition, all 60 aircraft will be completed by the middle of 2004," said Dennys S. Plessas, vice president for Business Development Initiatives, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Athens Office. "This rapid delivery schedule is another unique aspect of the Peace Xenia III program. It will give the Hellenic Air Force significantly increased air power with the addition of the most-capable fighter aircraft in the world -- in record time."
The first aircraft will remain at Fort Worth until early 2003 for hands-on training of Greek maintenance technicians, checkout of new support equipment and for technical manual validation.
The advanced new version will be formally presented to the Government of Greece in a ceremony at Fort Worth next March. The first ferry cell of aircraft will arrive in country in April.
The F-16, the choice of 23 countries, is the world's most sought-after fighter. More than 4,000 aircraft have been delivered, hundreds more are on order for the United States and seven other countries, and production is expected to continue beyond 2010. Major upgrades for all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft's long service life.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Employing about 125,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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