Lockheed Martin delivers F-16 CCIP mod kits
25 July 2001
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has shipped the first eight modification kits for the US Air Force's Common Configuration Implementation Programme (CCIP). CCIP is the most extensive retrofit of the F-16 and involves major changes to the aircraft avionics and cockpit with approximately 650 USAF Block 40/50 F-16C/Ds scheduled to be upgraded. Development began in June 1998, and flight-testing is currently under way at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
CCIP is being implemented in phases, based on subsystem availability. The first kits include the Modular Mission Computer and colour cockpit features to only the Block 50/52 version. The first aircraft is scheduled for completion in January 2002.
''The CCIP upgrade will provide the Air Force major benefits in capability and supportability for its Block 40/50 fleet,'' said Donald W. Jones, vice president of F-16 Programmes at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.
Starting in March 2002, the Block 50/52 kits will include the combined electronic interrogator/transponder, which gives the F-16 an autonomous beyond-visual-range air-intercept capability. These aircraft also will be capable of alternate carriage of the advanced FLIR targeting pod (currently in source selection), in addition to the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile Targeting System pod. This will give these aircraft a capability to fully employ Maverick missiles and laser-guided bombs, not only in suppressing enemy air defences, but also in destroying them. The first aircraft with this capability will deliver in September 2002.
The next phase in 2003 will add Link 16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System, the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), and an electronic horizontal situation indicator. Link 16 is the new NATO-standard data link network that enhances information exchange among all users. JHMCS provides a quick ''look-shoot'' capability for off-boresight target acquisition and launch of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons. Block 40/42 aircraft will receive the modification all at one time, starting in 2005.
CCIP will bring commonality to the USAF Block 40/50 fleet. There is also a large degree of hardware and software commonality with other F-16 upgrades. These include the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update retrofit, new production USAF F-16s (starting in spring 2003), international production F-16s (such as the Block 52+ for Greece starting in late 2002), and potentially others.
''Even though F-16s are tailored to suit the unique requirements of many customers, we have been able to achieve a high degree of commonality among these different configurations,'' Jones said. ''This is providing significant cost benefits. Non-recurring costs are shared by customers, and there are economies of scale in the recurring costs.''
CCIP is employing many Department of Defence acquisition reform initiatives — the most significant being extensive use of commercial components in avionics subsystems. This helps to avoid parts obsolescence and availability problems in the future. Total contract value of USAF CCIP development and kit production to Lockheed Martin is approximately $1 billion. Some international F-16 users have expressed interest in a similar upgrade to their F-16C/D aircraft.
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