The first of 84 Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16C/D Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to be upgraded to the latest F-16V standard made its maiden flight on 17 January. During the test flight, the upgraded systems of the aircraft were checked with absolute success, giving the impetus for the smooth continuation of the work and the rest to be upgraded of the Air Force aircraft. It is noted that these upgrade works were carried out within the planned schedule, without any deviation. The first 61-minute test flight of the prototype aircraft of the F-16V program, the F- 16 C Block 52 M “005”, also called the Viper Kit Proof A / C, took place earlier today in Tanagra with absolute success .
The combat-proven F-16 plays a vital role in safeguarding Greece’s national sovereignty and defending Greek national airspace from unauthorized intrusions. Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16V upgrades will deliver a significant increase in capability for the HAF combat aircraft fleet at a fraction of the cost of procuring new aircraft, enabling the HAF to stay ahead of emerging threats. HAF F-16Vs will be the most advanced F-16s in Europe. Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) is currently performing work in Greece on the F-16, C-130J, LM-100J, and P-3B programs. Greek industry produces portions of the C-130J fuselage, F-16 fuselage and intake, and Lockheed Martin has partnered with HAI on the Hellenic Navy’s P-3B maritime patrol aircraft modernization and upgrade program.
The F-16V Block 70/72 or Viper is the latest variant of the F-16 Fighting Falcon fourth generation fighter aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Martin. The Viper integrates advanced capabilities as part of an upgrade package to better interoperate with fifth-generation fighters, including the F-35 and the F-22. The F-16 Block 70/72 combines capability upgrades, most notably the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with a new avionics architecture, and structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the aircraft by more than 50 percent beyond that of previous production F-16 aircraft. The F-16V is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 or a General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan engine.