Long range and commonality [INDODEF16-D3]

03 November 2016

Lockheed Martin is offering the F-16V for Indonesia’s F-5 replacement requirement. When fitted with conformal fuel tanks, the aircraft offers a 1,500-mile combat radius, which the company sees as a useful attribute in the Indonesian context. The F-16 in earlier versions already forms the backbone of the Indonesian air force, and it would be possible to upgrade older aircraft to the new configuration if desired.

Known as the F-16V Block 72, the aircraft proposed for the Indonesian requirement represents the latest standard of F-16, with APG-83 AESA radar, a new cockpit with central pedestal multi-function display, and other enhancements such as a 1GB ethernet data management system. Many of the avionics improvements have been fed into the F-16 from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Pratt & Whitney engines would power the Block 72s for Indonesia to maximise commonality with the existing fleet.

Earlier this year, the US Government submitted the F-16V proposal to Indonesia. The bid meets all Indonesian requirements, both for capabilities and industrial offsets. As part of what it termed a “strong response” to meet its offset responsibilities, Lockheed Martin is proposing the co-production of many components and the technology transfer of engineering capability. Moreover, the company would partner with the Stevens Institute of Technology to establish a systems engineering centre of excellence at Bandung, home of PTDI, to help develop a self-sustainment capability. PTDI has already performed component manufacture for Lockheed Martin.

To provide an example of what an F-16V purchase might provide for Indonesia from an industrial standpoint, Lockheed Martin highlights its activities in Korea, where KAI has co-produced the F-16. This work led directly to KAI’s T-50 advanced trainer, which serves with Indonesia, while offset agreements associated with Korea’s F-35 programme have brought Lockheed Martin in as an engineering services and support partner to the KF-X fighter, a project in which Indonesia has a 20 per cent stake.

(313 words)