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Lockheed Martin Unveils Groundbreaking Upgraded F-16 Viper Block 70 Fighter: Embarks on Final Testing at Edwards Base

Lockheed Martin initiates a series of final evaluations for the world’s inaugural upgraded F-16 fighter in the Block 70/72 Viper configuration. The aircraft was formally revealed in March 2023. Here’s What We Know The advanced Generation 4++ fighter will be delivered to the Royal Bahrain Air Force.

However, prior to transportation to the Gulf nation, the aircraft will undergo a sequence of assessments at the Edwards US Air Force Base. The F-16V was unveiled in South Carolina and recently arrived at the air base in California.

The fighter will be subjected to testing under the supervision of the 416th Test Squadron, which operates within the 412th Test Wing of the US Air Force. Post-upgrade, the F-16V now boasts an electronic module on par with that of fifth-generation fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II.

Equipped with the Link 16 communication system, the F-16V can efficiently exchange data with fifth-generation fighters, AWACS aircraft, and Patriot surface-to-air missile systems. The Block 70/72 Viper upgrade encompasses the integration of the APG-83 active phased array radar. Additionally, the F-16V is capable of launching AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120C7 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Originally slated to produce 127 upgraded fighters, the Lockheed Martin facility in Greenville, Southern California, expanded its plans by an additional 20 aircraft following supplementary contracts from Jordan and Bulgaria.

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