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RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 2:43 am

I heard a rumour about it but I thought it was crazy! They don't make them anmore do they? Aren't they 30 years old?
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 4:42 am

They still make them, and are going to for at least half a decade, which doesn't make the rumour any less crazy. Not going to happen, period.

The first flight of the YF-16 happened somewhere in 1974 (+/- 1 year), production began in 1978 or so, operational capability achieved by 1980. Those were the first F-16A/B's (Block 5, 10), which have little to do with today's F-16C/D Block 60s, which have CFTs, IRST, more powerful F-100-PW-229 or F-110-GE-129 engines, new radar and avionics etc.

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 12:33 pm

Lockheed is still building them and marketing them, I put the timeline for production at about twice the time that LY744 has it.

I don't think the line that was set up to build European F-16's by General Dynamics back in the 1980's is still activie though.
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 4:51 pm

No chance at all of an RAF F-16, Eurofighters enter service with the Operational Evaluation Unit soon.
Last Eurofighter deliveries in 2009, the last three squadrons being the Jaguar GR.3 attack units after the Tornado F.3s have been replaced.
From 2010, the recently ordered F-35B's to replace Harrier GR.9s along with the Royal Navy, the Navy being first with all the Harriers gone by 2015.
Apart from the Jaguar squardrons, two Tornado GR.4 strike units will convert to Eurofighter, probably when the additional 50 aircraft on option are ordered.
In the long-term, no replacement for the bulk of Tornado GR.4s, options include developed Eurofighter, F-35Cs, a possible new European strike aircraft (with France/Germany/Italy) with or possibly just UCAV's.
But an all new manned aircraft is not very likely with the Tornado GR.4 out of service date being 2018/19.
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 5:33 pm

The European production line is closed, yes. The demise of Fokker meant that the factory closed so there was little else to do (though it had been closed years before due to lack of work, I think the tooling was still there).
The European MLU (SLEP in US terms I think) program was therefore carried out at the US plant.

There is still a production line in Turkey though, producing block 50 and 60 aircraft for Turkey and other customers in the region (Egypt among others).
I wish I were flying
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Sun Oct 13, 2002 9:46 pm

I wonder if some of the tooling then ended up in Turkey.
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Mon Oct 14, 2002 5:39 pm

Possibly, though Fokker built only early F-16A and B models (block 10 and maybe some block 15 aircraft).
I don't know how much of the tooling for those could be used for the current production models without modifications that are more expensive than simply replacing them.
I wish I were flying
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RE: RAF To Order F-16s?

Mon Oct 14, 2002 7:56 pm

Italy is one of the latest user of the F-16 in the world and probably the latest in Europe when they will receive its first F-16A-15ADF next year after a deal with USAF for the lease of 38 example to serve as gap filler in the air defense role.
These will be the former ANG Air Defence Fighter, upgraded in radar, avionics and engine and capable to launch AIM-120 AMRAAMs



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