F-16V has emerged as the first 4th Generation multi-role fighter aircraft that has established its worth in combat. F-16V will serve as an option for both the production of new F-16s as well as the upgrades of the existing F-16 fighters.
The most remarkable feature of F-16V is its scalability and cost-effectiveness. The basic design of F-16V comprises of an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a large-format, high-resolution display; and a high-volume, high-speed data bus.
A Link-16 Theater Data Link, Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, advanced weapons, precision GPS navigation and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) take the operational features of F-16V up a notch.
The latest advanced APG-83 AESA radar by Northrop Grumman ensures all weather targeting with high precision. The radar provides high-resolution details and customised digital maps equipped with zoom and slew capabilities. The most outstanding feature of APG-83 is its use of the standard features of F-22 and F-35 AESA radars to provide 5th Generation fighter radar functions.
APG-83 AESA comes with improved target detection and more than 20 tracks to provide multiple target attack feature. SAR, the Synthetic Aperture Radar, charts all-environment precision strike, interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surface mode operations and better protection for missions in highly populated radio frequency (RF) environments.
The state-of-the-art Center Pedestal Display (CPD) relays critical tactical imagery to the fighter pilots via a high-resolution 6”x 8” screen, allowing him to leverage the AESA and Targeting Pod data.
Other features of CPD include colour moving maps, air-to-air Situation Displays with enhanced management capabilities, zooming and switching information from one display to the other, and Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS).
F-16V completed its successful maiden flight on October 16, 2015. The occasion marked the first flight when APG-83 AESA radar was used in an F-16 fighter jet. AESA radars are also a part of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.