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KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon

4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft

KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon

4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon is a locally-produced South Korean version of the American Lockheed F-16 multirole series.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: South Korea
YEAR: 1991
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) - South Korea
PRODUCTION: 140
OPERATORS: South Korea
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 49.21 feet (15 meters)
WIDTH: 32.48 feet (9.9 meters)
HEIGHT: 15.75 feet (4.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 18,739 pounds (8,500 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 41,888 pounds (19,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofan engine.
SPEED (MAX): 870 miles-per-hour (1400 kilometers-per-hour; 756 knots)
RANGE: 2,610 miles (4,200 kilometers; 2,268 nautical miles)
CEILING: 50,033 feet (15,250 meters; 9.48 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 50,000 feet-per-minute (15,240 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



STANDARD:
1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan six-barreled internal cannon
2 x AIM-9 Sidewinder short-ranged air-to-air missiles (or equivalent) on wingtip hardpoints.

OPTIONAL:
Guided/homing air-to-air/air-to-surface missiles, rocket pods, cruise missiles, precision bombs, conventional drop bombs, specialized mission equipment and jettisonable fuel tanks.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• KF-16 - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon 4th Generation Multirole Fighter Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
South Korea's close political ties with the United States allows for access to American military products such as the Lockheed (General Dynamics) F-16 Fighting Falcon. Beginning in 1991, Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) began local, license production of the type under the "KF-16" designation. These aircraft were based on the F-16C/D Block 52 line to which 140 examples were completed. The first of a dozen airframes were handed over to the South Korean Air Force (ROKAF) in December of 1994 and these aircraft maintain an active presence in its inventory today (2013).

The arrival of the KF-16 began with the Korea Fighter Program (KFP) intended to provide the ROKAF with a modern multirole performer. Through competition, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet was initially declared the winner until allegations of corruption during the selection process nixed the deal. The decision was then made to pursue the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in its place as a dimensionally smaller and lighter single engine alternative.

While looking every bit the copy of her American sisters, the KF-16 in fact introduces thousands of new internal components to fulfill ROKAF requirements. KF-16s are outfitted with the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 IPE (Improved Performance Engine) series turbofan engine, an APG-68(V)7 radar suite, an ALQ-200K radar jamming system by LIG Nex1 and LANTIRN (Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night). The type was cleared for the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) to give it a medium-ranged reach apart from its wingtip-mounted short-ranged AIM-9 Sidewinders. The aircraft was also given provision for maritime sorties and could be outfitted with anti-ship missiles as required. In January of 2011, the series cleared Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) testing to further broaden the airframe's tactical value in combat. JDAM allows for the conversion of conventional drop bombs (known as "dumb" bombs) to precision-guided munitions value utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS) in its freefall. The KF-16 maintains the same external appearance of original F-16s with their beak-like nose cones, all-around vision bubble canopy, squat rounded fuselage, swept leading wing edges and single vertical tail fins. The aircraft showcases the iconic under-fuselage air intake which aspirates the single powerplant. The selection of a single engine decreases maintenance commitments and operational costs to an extent. Beyond its wingtip mounts, the aircraft features seven hardpoints consisting of six underwing (three to a wing) and three under the fuselage. The centerline and inboard underwing hardpoints are plumbed for fuel stores if required. A standard 20mm M61 Vulcan six-barreled Gatling gun is fitted to the portside of the airframe as in the F-16.




Beginning in 2011, the KF-16 was granted a mid-life upgrade which, when completed, will bring the series to an updated standard worthy of the modern battlefield. Primary changes will include integration of an AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar suite. The weapons and avionics software will see a revision as well which will broaden armament options and improve intra-unit communications.

Beyond the KF-16, Korean Aerospace Industries manufactures (or has manufactured) the KT-1 basic trainer, the T-50 advanced trainer, the F-15K Eagle and P-3CK maritime patrol platform.

In January of 2014, a deal between BAe Systems and South Korea was announced to upgrade some 134 KF-16 fighters. This will include installation new Raytheon Active, Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar systems, all new cockpit display panels and new mission computers. The program is expected to begin sometime in 2014 and take place near Fort Worth, Texas.

In November of 2014, the South Korean government cancelled its initiative to upgrade its fleet of 134 KF-16s with the Raytheon package. A new proposal is underway to fit a Northrop Grumman APG-83 AESA system through Lockheed Martin.

November 2016: South Korea has green-lighted an upgrade program covering 134 KF-16 aircraft to the F-16V "Viper" standard. Lockheed is set to handle the conversions.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 1000mph
Lo: 500mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (870mph).

    Graph average of 750 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the KAI KF-16 Fighting Falcon's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
140
140

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue