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Yesterday at 7:34 PM
... as U.S. Air Force Authorizes Extended Service Life for F-16
New flight hour limit supports F-16 operational life to 2048 and beyond

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Apr 12, 2017, 08:00 ET

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related:
Air Force Opts to Keep F-16s Flying for Decades Longer
The Air Force has authorized Lockheed Martin Corp. to extend the life of the F-16 multi-role fighter for decades longer, officials announced Wednesday.

The modification program would boost the overall flight hours of the jet from 8,000 to 12,000, Lockheed said in a release.

“Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond,” the release said.

The world’s largest defense contractor, based in Bethesda, Maryland, said the move would also lower life sustainment costs on the jet, but didn’t provide a projected savings figure.

The program would extend the flight hour limit of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft, and would supplement both U.S. and allied combat air fleets as they integrate with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the announcement said.

The Air Force
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last year for companies interested in participating in SLEP for the F-16 fleet, according
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.

“Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly capable and affordable 4th Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers,” said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program.

The latest update comes after Air Force officials have said the F-16 is intended to replace the F-15C/D variants. Both the active-duty component and
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are considering retiring the Boeing-made Eagle, service officials told the House Armed Services Subcommittee during
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on March 22.

The Air Force has authorized Lockheed Martin Corp. to extend the life of the F-16 multi-role fighter for decades longer, officials announced Wednesday.

The modification program would boost the overall flight hours of the jet from 8,000 to 12,000, Lockheed said in a release.

“Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond,” the release said.

The world’s largest defense contractor, based in Bethesda, Maryland, said the move would also lower life sustainment costs on the jet, but didn’t provide a projected savings figure.

The program would extend the flight hour limit of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft, and would supplement both U.S. and allied combat air fleets as they integrate with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the announcement said.

The Air Force
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last year for companies interested in participating in SLEP for the F-16 fleet, according
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.

“Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly capable and affordable 4th Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers,” said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program.

The latest update comes after Air Force officials have said the F-16 is intended to replace the F-15C/D variants. Both the active-duty component and
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are considering retiring the Boeing-made Eagle, service officials told the House Armed Services Subcommittee during
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on March 22.

“You don’t need a sophisticated fighter for that,” he said of the
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, to dispatch planes when they get to close to U.S. borders, need to go up and identify an aircraft, or escort, for example, a civilian plane out of a temporarily restricted fly zone.

“The F-16 could fit into that role well even if it’s not optimized for air superiority” beyond that mission, he added.

That same week, officials at Lockheed
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it plans to move the F-16 production line to South Carolina from Fort Worth, Texas, where it built the single-engine fighters for more than 40 years.

As of Sept. 30, the Air Force had 949 Fighting Falcons, according to Air Force inventory figures obtained by Military.com.

The Air Force claims it has the capacity in the F-16C community “to recapitalize … radar to serve the same function as the F-15 has done and thereby reduce the different systems that we have to sustain and operate, so that makes it more efficient,” said Maj. Gen. Scott D. West, director of current operations and the service’s deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon.

The effort will help minimize the number of systems pilots operate, West said during the hearing on Capitol Hill.
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44 minutes ago
Yesterday at 7:34 PM

related:
Air Force Opts to Keep F-16s Flying for Decades Longer

source:
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and this is also interesting:
Air Force authorises extended life for F-16
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"... The upgrade to existing Falcons leverages technology from Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, such as Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar. The programme could also integrate additional capabilities down the road, including auto ground collision avoidance and a joint helmet-mounted cueing system. ..." etc.
 
"To keep the Eagle flying past the 2020s would require a series of service life extension programmes including a center fuselage overhaul estimated at $40 million per unit, according to the service’s head of Air Combat Command." sounds like a lot :)
Amid budget uncertainty, USAF weighs F-15 retirement
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now I read
With Structural Mods, F-16 Will Fly Through 2048
it talks "everything": F-15s, F-16s, 5Gen, 6Gen plus nonexistent budget ...:
The U.S. Air Force has authorized extending the service life of
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’s single-engine
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from 8,000 t0 12,000 hr., raising questions about whether this is the first step toward retiring and replacing the long-serving
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/D Eagle.

The planned structural modifications would keep up to 300 F-16 C/C Block 40-52 aircraft flying safely through 2048 and beyond, Lockheed said in an April 12 press release.

The news that the F-16 will fly through at least 2048 comes as the Air Force weighs retiring over 200 air-to-air F-15 C/D Eagles in the 2020s—two decades earlier than planned. Under current budget constraints, the Air Force can’t afford to keep the F-15 fleet flying while simultaneously bringing online new fifth- and sixth-generation aircraft like the
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, B-21 stealth bomber and new Penetrating Counter-air (PCA) fighter, according to Air Combat Commander Gen. Mike Holmes.

The Air Force’s proposal is to plug the capability gap left by retiring the F-15s with F-16s upgraded with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars—an upgrade that would be separate from the structural modifications. Adding an AESA radar would enable the F-16 to do the air defense mission that Air National Guard F-15 Cs and Ds are currently performing across the country, said Lt. Gen. Mark Nowland, deputy chief of staff for operations.

However, experts argue the F-16 is no match for the advanced Russian and Chinese capabilities it will face in the European and Pacific theaters. Even with the AESA upgrade, the F-16’s radar antenna is much smaller than the F-15’s. Meanwhile, the F-16 can only carry fewer missiles—six at most—flies slower and is less maneuverable than the F-15.

Nowland’s answer is that once we get into a denied battlefield environment, no fourth-generation aircraft on its own is going to survive—not the F-15 or the F-16. That means the Air Force needs to move as quickly as it can toward a fifth- and sixth-generation combat fleet.

“When you think of anti-access, area denied, people think of domes. It’s not a dome, it is Swiss cheese. There are holes there,” Nowland said April 12 during an event in Washington. “Fifth-generation allows you to exploit those holes and get in to start kicking in the door, and then once you start kicking in the door then it makes fourth generation better.”

With near-peer adversaries fielding sophisticated radars and advanced surface-to-air missiles that threaten fourth-generation aircraft, Holmes wants to begin buying more modern fighter aircraft, at least 100 per year. This includes ramping up production of the F-35, but also moving more quickly to develop a sixth-generation air superiority aircraft under the PCA program. Speaking to reporters after an event in Washington, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein emphasized that retirement of the F-15C/D is just one of many options the service is looking at for the next budget cycle.

“Until we get a budget, it’s really hard to plan,” Goldfein said. “I haven’t made any decision on the F-15.”
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
44 minutes ago
and this is also interesting:
Air Force authorises extended life for F-16
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"... The upgrade to existing Falcons leverages technology from Lockheed’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, such as Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar. The programme could also integrate additional capabilities down the road, including auto ground collision avoidance and a joint helmet-mounted cueing system. ..." etc.
I thought the Vipers already had the JHMCS?
What I am wondering is if the USAF intends for conformal tanks.
"To keep the Eagle flying past the 2020s would require a series of service life extension programmes including a center fuselage overhaul estimated at $40 million per unit, according to the service’s head of Air Combat Command." sounds like a lot :)
Amid budget uncertainty, USAF weighs F-15 retirement
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Adjusted For inflation It's almost the exact same price paid for a F15C back in 1998!
I really hope F15 gets the 2040C package SLEP but the rebuild needed is almost a new build.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
CENTCOM: GBU-43 MOAB bomb dropped in Afghanistan
By:
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April 13, 2017 (Photo Credit: Air Force via Getty Images)
The U.S. military said it conducted a strike on an ISIS-K tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangahar province, Afghanistan, on Thursday.

A U.S. aircraft dropped a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast, also known as a MOAB, as part of ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS-K in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. Central Command news release.

The strike aimed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. forces conducting clearing operations in the area, the release said.

"As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," Gen. John W. Nicholson, Commander, U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, said in the release. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K."

The release said the U.S. took "every precaution" to avoid civilian casualties.
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Somewhere in Afghanistan there is a mountain moved and a crater formed. Even Hell is ringing from the noise.
 
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Somewhere in Afghanistan there is a mountain moved and a crater formed. Even Hell is ringing from the noise.
it's Top Breaking News at gazeta.ru right now (
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) linking to
First on CNN: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
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also on top of a major Polish server (inside are links to breaking news at several other World servers):
USA zrzuciły w Afganistanie "matkę wszystkich bomb". Nie użyto jej nigdy wcześniej
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here's what Military.com had to say so far:
US Drops Most Powerful Non-Nuclear Bomb in Afghanistan
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The U.S. military on Thursday dropped the most powerful non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal against the Islamic State in Afghanistan, marking the first ever combat use of the massive ordnance.

An
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MC-130
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aircraft dropped the 21-000-pound GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or MOAB, bomb against militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's branch called Khorasan, or ISIS-K, which operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to U.S. Central Command.

"As ISIS-K's losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense," Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, said in a statement, referring to improvised explosive devices. "This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K."

To illustrate how big the GBU-43 conventional ordnance is, a Tomahawk cruise missile -- the type of munition
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into Syria in response to a chemical attack -- weigh about 1,000 pounds.

The MOAB was last tested at
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in 2003 but has never been used in combat. The bomb has the highest yield of any conventional ordnance in the U.S. stockpile. (The biggest, however, is the GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator.) And while the GBU-43 isn't a penetrating bomb, the force of the blast would likely kill militants in tunnels and potentially anyone in the vicinity.

"U.S. forces took every precaution to avoid civilian casualties with this strike," according to the statement, and "will continue offensive operations until ISIS-K is destroyed in Afghanistan."

The bomb, which is made by Dynetics Inc., releases from a weapon cradle in the MC-130 within seconds and relies on Global Positioning Satellites, or GPS, for guidance, according to an Air Force official who spoke to Military.com on background. It features controllable fins to accurately maneuver to within less than eight meters of the intended target, the official said.

At a White House briefing, spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed the GBU-43 was dropped on a cave and tunnel complex used by the ISIS offshoot. "We must deny them operational space, which we did," he said.

This story will be updated.
 
it's Top Breaking News at gazeta.ru right now (
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) linking to
First on CNN: US drops largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
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also on top of a major Polish server (inside are links to breaking news at several other World servers):
USA zrzuciły w Afganistanie "matkę wszystkich bomb". Nie użyto jej nigdy wcześniej
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a major Czech server was late :) (
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) but included this vid:
 

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