F-16 Micro-Upgrade

The Air Force will upgrade “20-plus” F-16s with an active electronically scanned array radar in response to a joint urgent operational need from US Northern Command, service acquisition executive William LaPlante said Friday. He told Air Force Magazine after the AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast the jets will likely be Air National Guard aircraft, and they will likely be those stationed at JB Andrews, Md., which has responsibility for defending Washington, D.C. “The JUON we’re acting on is focused not on the whole homeland defense mission,” but on a “more focused” subset of it, he said. The upgrade won’t be applied F-16 fleet-wide “in the first tranche,” LaPlante said, but he didn’t say whether it would later be expanded.