By Invitation | Fighter Par Excellence

F-16 Block 70 stays ahead of its competitors with constant upgradation

The F-16’s iconic shape remains relatively unchanged from the famous fighter’s original design. However, internal structures and systems on the F-16 have been continuously modernised to incorporate new, advanced technologies. The F-16’s unprecedented success stems from relentless operational modernisation informed by real-world combat experience.

Enter the F-16 Block 70, the latest iteration of that continuous improvement process. The Block 70 resets the standard for fighter aircraft.

The F-16 Block 70 incorporates decades of combat lessons learned by the US Air Force (USAF) and the 26 other air forces around the world who selected the F-16 as their frontline fighter of choice. Sixteen of those air forces returned to buy more F-16s — 55 times altogether.

Weapons systems, sensors, avionics, engine, operational capability upgrades, and structural upgrades enable the F-16 to stay ahead of emerging threats. No other 4th Generation platform even comes close to matching to F-16’s record of real-world combat experience and operational effectiveness.


Unmatched Combat Prowess

The USAF and other F-16 operators continue to demonstrate the F-16’s proficiency across mission sets, including Defensive Counter Air (DCA), Offensive Counter Air (OCA), Air Interdiction (AI), Close Air Support (CAS), Strike, Suppression/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD/DEAD), and Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR).

The F-16 flies farther, intercepts faster, accelerates quicker, and turns more tightly than any of its competitors. The F-16’s 9G capability and immense thrust-to-weight ratio enables it to dominate the skies with unmatched agility, lethality and survivability. And unlike any of its competitors, the F-16 has the combat hours to prove it.

The USAF operates far more F-16s than any other fighter aircraft due to the F-16’s proven combat capabilities, unparalleled adaptability and affordability.

Unparalleled Mission Reach

The F-16 Block 70 with conformal fuel tanks has a mission radius exceeding 1,700 kilometres (km) in an air-to-air configuration carrying four AMRAAMs, two ASRAAMs and two 370 gallon fuel tanks. This yields a 750 km DCA Combat Air Patrol (CAP) with on-station time of more than two hours.

Even with the addition of targeting systems and two 2,000 pound (lb) class Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), the F-16 Block 70 has a mission radius exceeding 1,300 km — 30 per cent greater than that of the F-16’s closest competitor. With the optional 300 gallon centreline tank and two 600 gallon wing tanks, the F-16 Block 70’s advantages are even greater.

The F-16 can strike more targets, at greater ranges, than any of its competitors. The F-16 can carry twice the payload of competing aircraft at the same range, which translates directly to air-to-surface mission effectiveness. In other words, an air force would have to acquire 50 per cent more of any competing aircraft to equal the operational capabilities of an F-16 Block 70 fleet.

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