Lockheed Martin, Israel Mark F-16I First Flight
Fort Worth, TX, 23-DEC-03 --
Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] today completed a successful first flight of the F-16I, an Advanced Block 52 F-16 variant built for Israel.
The F-16 flew for 55 minutes and landed safely at the Lockheed Martin facility. The initial flight assessed basic aircraft operation including flight controls, landing gear and environmental control, cockpit and basic avionics systems.
The successful first flight of the F-16I is truly a major milestone in our continuing commitment to Israel, said John Bean, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-16 programs. This achievement further strengthens our bond, which spans three decades through the F-16.
Israel's Peace Marble V foreign military sales program will supply the Israel Air Force (IAF) with 102 two-seat aircraft and is the largest Israeli F-16 acquisition yet. The F-16I is specially designed for Israel, and has been named Soufa, or Storm in Hebrew, by the IAF. Production deliveries are scheduled through 2008.
The F-16I incorporates the latest technology and capabilities in an air combat fighter, such as modern core avionics, color cockpits featuring moving maps, conformal fuel tanks and advanced electronic warfare displays. The aircraft also features the APG-68(V)9 multimode radar, Pratt and Whitney F100 Improved Performance Engine, smart weapons compatibility and sophisticated navigation and targeting system.
The F-16 is the choice of 24 countries. More than 4,000 aircraft have been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries. The F-16 program recently marked 25 years of continuous production deliveries and has forged relationships leading to unprecedented international cooperation. Hundreds more aircraft are on order, and production is expected to continue beyond 2010. Major upgrades for all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft's long service life.