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October 18, 2006

Israel's Ready-Response To Iran Nukes

Topics: Iran
f-16I_9.jpg

The long-awaited Israeli F-16I Sufa ('Storm') rolled off Lockheed Martin's production line in Texas last week into the waiting hands of Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who was on scene to receive the new aircraft - the first of 102:

The F-16I is a heavily modified two seat version of the U.S. Air Force's F-16D Block 50/52-series fighter. In addition to the new and more powerful Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine, the F-16I boasts numerous internal and external advancements and modifications. For example, the Sufa has been customized with new avionic technologies, internally mounted FLIR (forward looking infrared) viewers, and cutting edge weapon system hardware provided by the Israeli defense company Lahav - a division of Israel Aircraft Industries.

The Lahav technology will allow for simultaneous, multi-target air-to-air engagement and increased standoff and survivability capabilities. The F-16I has been earmarked to receive the new Python 5 imaging infrared-guided high agility air-to-air missile produced by Rafael, the former Israeli Armaments Development Authority. The predecessor to the Python 5, the Python 4, was regarded to be the most advanced heat-seeking missile in the world. The Python 5 boasts a new seeker less prone to countermeasures, lock-after-launch capabilities, and an extended operational engagement time once fired. In addition, the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-68(V)9 multimode radar increases the distance of airborne engagement by 30 percent over the older APG-69 system and affords the "Sufa" with a high-resolution synthetic-aperture ground mapping capability.

Complementing the upgraded weapon systems is a dorsal compartment containing enhanced mission avionics and chaff and flare dispensers, enabling it to conduct either pilot training or combat missions. In addition, removable conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) have been added along the fuselage and above the wing roots, freeing-up underwing hard points for additional armaments. The F-16I has an unrefueled combat strike radius well in excess of 500 miles. The extended flight range allows Israeli forces to attack targets well within Iran and Libya without having to refuel.


Hat tip - Anti-Mullah

Posted by Richard at October 18, 2006 8:30 AM



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