Boeing delivered the Air Force’s first production QF-16C full-scale aerial target to Tyndall AFB, Fla., according to a base release. “We take great pride in this significant team achievement and are honored to provide the warfighter with this enhanced capability,” said Michele Hafers, test and training division boss at Eglin AFB, Fla. This QF-16, serial number 86-0233, arrived at Tyndall on March 11. It is a former Michigan Air National Guard F-16C Block 30 airframe, and is the first of 13 QF-16s scheduled for delivery as part of Lot 1 production of the new FSAT. QF-16s will replace the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron’s QF-4s that provide targets for weapons testing and training over the nearby Eglin Range complex. Boeing is under contract to convert up to 126 retired, early model F-16s to the QF-16 configuration.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.