Tag Archives: f-16I

Lumps and Bumps on the Sufas

B11I3915.jpgLockheed Martin has been evolving the F-16 over the years.  It has been massively transformed from the original F-16A (which was a big change from the YF-16) to the Block 50/52 version.  The development of the F-16E/F for the UAE took the jet up another level.  When the Israeli Air Force decided to buy an updated jet, they created the F-16I Sufa.  A lot of local electronic systems are incorporated to the LM designed airframe.

B11I4715.jpgAs you take a closer look at the airframe, you see all sorts of bits that are specific to the jet.  The big spine is a common feature these days although it was pioneered on Israeli jets a long time ago.  Aside from that, there is a circular antenna on the spine.  On the sides of the inlets are some more antennae.  Head back on the spine and some more side antennae seem to be present (although not on all of the jets I saw).  Then there are sensors on the canopy (which I guess are related to helmet sighting systems).  The jet is covered in devices.  I assume there is a great system for integrating all of the information these sensors are gathering.  The crew should have plenty of data to work with.


Sufas Finally Come Right

B11I4708.jpgOne of the big attractions of Red Flag 16-4 was the appearance of the F-16I jets of the Israeli Air Force.  The Sufa is a variant of the F-16 that incorporates the conformal fuel tanks and a lot of local Israeli electronic equipment.  In the days before I was there, the jets had been landing on the left runway which meant they broke away from the photographers and landed a fair distance away.  When I was there, things changed.

B11I4644.jpgThey started to come in with a right break for the right runway.  This was really good news.  It makes getting shots of them a lot easier.  They didn’t fly very tight patterns so they were a little far away on the final turn but it was still better than if they went left.  The departures were mainly from the far runway so they were a bit far then but it was still a good result for me.