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Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm)

Lightweight Multirole Fighter

Israel | 2004

"The F-16I Sufa is a highly-localized Israeli take on the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 52 lightweight multirole fighter mark."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/22/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The F-16I "Sufa" ("Storm") is a highly-localized twin-seat Israeli version of the classic General Dynamics (now Lockheed) F-16 "Fighting Falcon" lightweight multirole fighter. The design incorporates many unique features to make it largely Israeli in nature and updates key aspects of the already proven fighter. The F-16I is, at its heart, a direct evolution of the F-16 "Block 52" offering.

The formal IAF requirement for a such a fighter was born in September of 1997 and the F-16I design competed successfully against the service's other option - more F-15I Ra'am long-range strike platforms. The definitive selection being made during July of 1999. From there, 102 total F-16Is were placed on order by the IAF, resulting in a modified F-16 flying in prototype form on December 23rd, 2003. Deliveries to the Israeli air service began as soon as February of the following year.

The F-16I incorporates changes to its avionics, instrumentation, and weapons support (the APG-68(9) series radar fit in the nose and the Pratt & Whitney (PW) F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofan engine at the tail are both retained). About half of the existing aircraft's avionics set has been replaced with a customized suite and a new, locally-developed, Helmet-Mounted Sight (HMS) was introduced. Broadened weapon support for Israeli-made missiles, such as the Python 5 from Raphael, was also introduced during this design and development process. Beyond this, the airframe was modified to support conformal fuel tanks along either side of the dorsal line to improve operational ranges at the expense of additional weight.

The result in a more lethal target-hunting aerial platform suitable for use within the current attack-or-defend doctrine of the IAF. The F-16I fights alongside the F-15 "Eagle" air superiority/multirole marks (A, C, and I) to form an impressive "one-two" punch. The current (2019) IAF inventory includes as many as 175 F-16-related fighters (both C and I models) in addition to 66 of the aforementioned F-15 types. A dozen F-35I 5th generation stealth-centric strike fighters are also on call with some 38 more to follow, further bolstering the existing IAF fighter fleet.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Lockheed F-16I Lightweight Multirole Fighter.
1 x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 afterburning turbofan engine developing 27,000lb of thrust.
1,501 mph
2,415 kph | 1,304 kts
Max Speed
52,493 ft
16,000 m | 10 miles
Service Ceiling
2,001 miles
3,220 km | 1,739 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Lockheed F-16I Lightweight Multirole Fighter.
48.6 ft
14.80 m
O/A Length
32.2 ft
(9.80 m)
O/A Width
15.7 ft
(4.80 m)
O/A Height
19,842 lb
(9,000 kg)
Empty Weight
37,479 lb
(17,000 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm) Lightweight Multirole Fighter .
1 x 20mm M61A1 internal automatic cannon.
2 x Short-range, air-to-air missiles on wingtip launchers.

Approximately 17,000lb of externally-held drop/launch stores across nine total hardpoints (three under each wing, three under the fuselage). Supported weapon systems include additional short-range or medium-range air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, precision-guided bombs, conventional drop bombs, and rocket pods. Also supported are 3 x Jettisonable drop tanks.
Notable series variants as part of the Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm) family line.
F-16I "Sufa" - Base Series Designation.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 102 Units

Contractor(s): Lockheed Martin - USA / Elbit Systems; Israel Aerospace Industries - Israel
National flag of Israel

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Image of the Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm)
Image released to the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Lockheed F-16I Sufa (Storm) Lightweight Multirole Fighter appears in the following collections:
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