Lockheed Martin unveiled a revamped version of its F-16 multi-role fighter at the Singapore Air Show on Wednesday. The F-16V—the V stands for Viper, the name F-16 pilots have dubbed the distinctive fighter—features enhancements like an active electronically scanned array radar, upgraded mission computer and architecture, and additional cockpit improvements, according to a company release. These are capabilities that the Air Force and international customers have identified for future improvement, stated the company. “We believe this F-16V will satisfy our customers’ emerging requirements and prepare them to better interoperate with . . . fifth generation fighters,” said George Standridge, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics’ vice president for business development. The F-16V configuration is an option for new production jets and elements of the upgrade are available to most earlier model F-16s, according to the company. It noted that it has developed “an innovative solution to affordably retrofit” an AESA radar into existing F-16s.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.