F-16 Milestone

Lockheed Martin completed 25,000 simulated flight hours on an F-16C Block 50 aircraft as part of its full scale durability test, which is designed to stress the aircraft to identify potential fatigue issues, according to a June 11 company r?elease. The F-16 fleet was designed to hold up under heavy stress for 8,000 equivalent flight hours, but the FSDT results will be used to “design and verify” a Service Life Extension Program that will extend the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-50 aircraft to 12,000 EFH, until the service’s F-35 strikes fighters come online, according to the release. “This testing milestone clearly demonstrates that F-16s with SLEP modification can be safely operated longer than anyone previously thought possible,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.