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Lockheed Martin says U.S. Air Force will extended F-16 service 50%

Staff Writer |
The U.S. Air Force authorized extending the service life of the Lockheed Martin -16's designed service life to 12,000 Equivalent Flight Hours.

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This is far beyond the aircraft's original design service life of 8,000 hours.

Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond.

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also reduced projected service life costs for the Block 40-52 fleet, paving the way for safe, cost-effective F-16 flight operations decades into the future.

Validation of the extended flight hour limit directly supports the SLEP goal of extending the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft.

SLEP and related avionics upgrades to the Air Force's F-16C/D fleet can safely and effectively augment the current fighter force structure as U.S. and allied combat air fleets recapitalize with F-35 Lightning IIs.

A second phase, or Part II, of the F-16 SLEP airworthiness process continues with the request for Military Type Certificate (MTC), which will be submitted to the Air Force's Technical Airworthiness Authority in the coming months.

Part II seeks to validate further extending the F-16's operational life based on final service life analysis from extended durability testing.

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