The U.S. Air Force will proceed with a service life extension programme for its Lockheed Martin F-16's, which will result in the designed service life of the fighter jets being extended to 12,000 Equivalent Flight Hours as compared to the aircraft's original design service life of 8,000 hours.
"This accomplishment is the result of more than seven years of test, development, design, analysis and partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin," said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program.
"Combined with F-16 avionics modernisation programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly capable and affordable 4th Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers."
The U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond on completion of the F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications.
The SLEP goal of extending the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft is directly supported by the extension of flight hour limit.