Funding New F-16 Radars

The Air Force’s Fiscal 2017 budget request calls for funding that was initially rejected by Congress in 2015 to replace radars on F-16s, starting with the jets tasked with protecting Washington, D.C. In March 2015, Air Forces Northern/1st Air Force issued an urgent operational need to install Active Electronically Scanned Array radars in F-16s tasked with protecting the homeland. The Air Force requested that Congress reprogram funding to meet this need, but the request was rejected, said Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements. The Air Force is now calling for $56.4 million in Fiscal 2017 base funding for phase one of the program, to install the new radars for 24 aircraft across three units. The overall program would require $75.3 million through 2020 for a second phase of installation in 48 aircraft and a third phase of radars on all remaining Air Combat Command, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve aircraft. The plan would install the radars in a phased approach to coincide with the fielding of F-35s, Holmes said. The radars have been in testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., in support of the Taiwanese air force F-16s.