Bulgaria will receive F-16 simulators produced by Lockheed Martin to train its pilots for national and Nato defence missions, the US firm said on January 27.
As one of the first nations to receive the F-16 Block 70 aircraft, Bulgaria will also receive training simulators that reflect the aircraft’s newest and most advanced configuration, the media statement said.
Bulgaria will have a fleet of eight latest-generation F-16 Block 70 supersonic fighters.
The F-16 Block 70 features the most advanced fourth-generation fighter aircraft capabilities in Nato’s inventory today, the statement said. It provides interoperable capabilities within air forces, enhancing partnerships with allies and supporting national defence and security
“The latest generation Lockheed Martin F-16 training suite allows aviators to train in a holistic, realistic environment, which ensures mission readiness,” according to Chauncey McIntosh, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Training and Logistics Solutions business.
To prepare Bulgaria’s F-16 pilots, the new training suites will provide a simulation-based environment that replicates all systems, sensors and weapons. This total training solution can be networked so pilots can train together in various scenarios, delivering advanced training while meeting affordability goals, Lockheed Martin said.
The company said that the F-16 Block 70 aircraft, manufactured in Greenville, South Carolina, features advanced avionics, a proven active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a modernised cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, the automatic ground collision avoidance system (Auto GCAS), an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12 000 hours.
To date, more than 4500 F-16s have been produced, with approximately 3000 F-16s operating today in 25 countries, including with the US Air Force. Worldwide, the F-16 has flown an estimated 19.5 million flight hours and more than 13 million sorties, the statement said.
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