Tuesday, September 27, 2016

QF-16 reaches milestone

QF-16 takes off at Tyndall. Air Force photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Air Combat Command has declared initial operational capability for the QF-16 full-scale aerial target. The decision Sept. 23 was approved by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, the ACC commander, for 15 QF-16s now available for target operations. The jets are assigned to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., and flown by the 82nd Aerial Target Squadron under the 53rd Wing. The 82nd ATRS operates the only FSAT capability in the Defense Department. By law a missile system must undergo lethality testing before it can enter full-scale production. The QF-16 is the introduction of fourth-generation fighter capabilities in the aerial target mission. It maintains all inherent capabilities of the baseline F-16 Fighting Falcon including supersonic flight and 9 G maneuverability. The newest aerial target will replace the QF-4 Aerial Target, which flew its last unmanned mission Aug. 17 at Holloman AFB, N.M. The QF-4 will officially be retired in December. The 82nd ATRS is a geographically separated unit of the 53rd WG headquartered at Eglin. (Source: AFNS, 09/26/16)