Joined at the Hip

The Air Force and Air National Guard will almost certainly see investment dollars directed into bolstering their legacy F-16 fighters in the upcoming Fiscal 2012 budget. However, the extent of those improvements to extend the service life of F-16 Block 30s and increase capability in newer generation F-16s will be closely tied to the health of the F-35 strike fighter program, said ANG Director Lt. Gen. Harry Wyatt in a December interview. Wyatt said the Pentagon’s sweeping F-35 review is gauging that level of health, which Defense Department acquisition boss Ash Carter will then use to make decisions on the course of the F-35 program going forward. Those decisions will be reflected in the Fiscal 2012 budget. The ultimate number of F-16s that USAF will include in this work will depend on the conclusions that Carter draws from the F-35 review, said Wyatt. Continue