|F-16C PEACE BRIDGE||KF-16C||KF-16C Block 52D|
|Class||Air Superiority Fighter|
|Variant(s)||F-16C PEACE BRIDGE|
KF-16C Block 52D
|Armor||Front 0 / Side 0 / Rear 0 / Top 0|
|Fuel Capacity||4000 L|
|Type||Airborne, Mechanized, Armored, Motorized, Support|
|Gatling Gun||M61A1 Vulcan (20mm)|
|AAM||AIM-120A AMRAAM (Radar)|
The F-16A Fighting Falcon was developed by General Dynamics as part of the United States Air Force Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program. The aircraft, first flown on 20 January 1974, was exported to several NATO members starting in the mid-to-late 1970's. Originally envisioned as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather Multi-Role aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.
Under OPERATION PEACE BRIDGE II, the South Korean Air Force initially planned to acquire 120 F/A-18 Hornets. Following a series of funding technicalities, they opted to go with new models of the F-16 instead. The first 12 Block 52 F-16's were built in Fort Worth, with another 36 pre-fabricated and assembled in South Korea, and the final 72 fully manufactured in-country. The first KF-16C Block 52's arrived in 1994. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine, which produces over 29,000 pounds of thrust in afterburner, the Block 52 also features advanced APG-68(V)5 radar, new RWR, night-vision compatible cockpit, and compatibility with myriad air to air, and air to surface munitions.
The KF-16C is a prototype 140-point Air Superiority Fighter available to South Korean decks. It provides the South Korean Air Force with a powerful and modern Air Superiority Fighter capable of threatening top of the line REDFOR aircraft. The KF-16C is armed with six AIM-120A AMRAAM missiles and a 20mm Vulcan cannon, has a tight turning radius and very good ECM. The six AIM-120's give the KF-16C a powerful long range punch, and the type can be used to either go toe to toe with enemy air superiority fighters, or be used as an interceptor to bring down strike and anti-ship platforms.
The chief drawbacks of the KF-16C are its cost and lack of an infra-red AAM. At 140 points per fighter, even with the six AMRAAMs, the KF-16C can be swarmed and overpowered by less expensive fighters. Also, although ideal for attacking fixed wing aircraft, the KF-16C is less able to deal with helicopters, as it must do so with the Vulcan alone.