F-16 Block 70/72, this is considered the most powerful version of this famous F-16 fighter line, they are capable of confronting the Su-35S that Russia sells to China.
The F-16 Block 70/72 is the newest and most powerful version of the F-16 fighter family. At the core of this version is the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-80 advanced active electronically scanned array radar, which is based on technology taken from the F-22 and F-35.
In addition, the aircraft is also equipped with a state-of-the-art electronic warfare system, a cockpit fitted with a high-resolution screen, the latest JHMCS II pilot’s helmet… The power of this version is said to be enough. confrontation with the Russian export version of Su-35S.
|F-16 Block 70/72 . fighter|
Analysts say that the radar on the F-16 Block 70/72 is more sensitive and has a better range than the Su-35. In terms of armament, although the F-16 Block 70/72 has one engine, they can carry up to 7.9 tons of weapons while the Su-35S, although equipped with two engines, is larger but has only the ability to carry 8 tons of weapons. Another advantage is that the operating cost of the single-engine F-16 is always cheaper than that of the twin-engine Su-35.
New-production F-16s include advanced capabilities, such as the APG-83 AESA Rradar, modernized cockpit with new safety features, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an improved performance engine, and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours. But most importantly, new F-16s also include the proven, life-saving Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS), which ensures pilots come home safe.
Another key feature of the F-16 Block 70 configuration is the new Center Pedestal Display (CPD), which provides critical tactical imagery to pilots on a high-resolution 6”x 8” screen. The high-resolution display allows pilots to take full advantage of AESA and targeting pod data. The new CPD enables color moving maps, larger and easier to manage air-to-air Situation Displays, zoom functionality with the ability to switch information among displays, and a digital display of Flight Instrument Data. The CPD is also compatible with the Night Vision Imaging System.
The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) was purpose-built to prevent deadly crashes and has already saved the lives of seven pilots and six F-16s since the system entered service with the U.S. Air Force in late 2014. The Auto GCAS is designed to reduce incidents of what is known as controlled flight into terrain, or CFIT. According to U.S. Air Force statistics, CFIT incidents account for 26 percent of aircraft losses and a staggering 75 percent of all F-16 pilot fatalities.
The F-16 Auto GCAS system is currently being integrated into the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 fleet and the Air Force and Lockheed Martin plan to develop similar systems for the F-22 and F-35. Current plans call for fielding an Auto GCAS on the F-35 by 2019. The F-35 Joint Program Office estimates the Auto GCAS will prevent more than 26 ground collisions during the service of the F-35 fleet.
Currently, the US F-16 Block 70/72 is being offered for sale by the US for about $ 80 million / unit, while the Russian Su-35S sold to China is up to over $ 100 million / unit.