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C4iSR: Air

F-16 mission computer upgrade will add more processing power and memory

05 January 2017

Raytheon will provide new mission computers for the US Air Force's fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft, which will more than double the processing capability and increase the memory of the legacy mission computers.

Based on commercial technology, Raytheon's Modular Mission Computer Upgrade (MMCU) combines multi-core processing and cyber security with next generation high-speed computing and high-speed data networks. It serves as the foundation for potential new advanced sensors and capabilities for the USAF's F-16, including next generation weapon systems, according to a company statement.

"The MMCU also includes a 1 GB per second ethernet capability to support the F-16 network. The MMCU design allows for growth space for future processing needs," Josh Cobbs, programme manager, electronic warfare systems for Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, told IHS Jane's . The award can provide MMCU systems for approximately 600 F-16 USAF aircraft, plus spares, Cobbs added.

Raytheon is providing new mission computers for the USAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon that combines multi-core processing and cyber security with next generation high-speed computing and high-speed data networks. (Lockheed Martin)Raytheon is providing new mission computers for the USAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon that combines multi-core processing and cyber security with next generation high-speed computing and high-speed data networks. (Lockheed Martin)

The first MMCU production systems will be delivered in the 2020 timeframe. It will be up to the USAF to determine which fighter wing will receive the first MMCUs, he noted.

Raytheon's MMCU integrates with USAF Operational Flight Program (OFP) updates to meet all USAF requirements. While doubling the processing performance and increasing the memory and input/output, MMCU stays within the existing system's size, weight, and power allocations, Cobbs said.

"Modular architecture allows easy modification of processing performance, memory and input/output, giving the USAF the flexibility to integrate new weapon systems and capabilities," he said. "Raytheon's unique MMCU solution replaces the existing mission computer without any aircraft structural changes.

"The MMCU can be installed rapidly on-the aircraft. This form, fit, function and interface solution enables an upgrade in a matter of hours," Cobbs added. The development requires Raytheon MMCU and USAF OFP integration, followed by flight testing to validate operational capabilities.

"MMCU systems will be verified against USAF requirements, including lab and aircraft integration, which will be similar to qualification and verification testing for F-16 users with like configurations," Cobbs said.

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