As part of the Korea F-16 Update Program, a Lockheed Martin KF-16D Block 52N Fighting Falcon from the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) is being used as a trials aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California.
Following modification by Lockheed Martin, the KF-16D – serial 92-4046 – has been temporarily assigned to the 416th Flight Test Squadron (FLTS) ‘Skulls’ of the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) 412th Test Wing. While assigned to the unit, the multi-role fighter will be used to test elements of the RoKAF modernisation and is currently wearing USAF titles and markings.
The 412th Test Wing announced on April 8 that the KF-16D had carried out a successful drop test of a GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) on February 26 over the Precision Impact Range Area at Edwards AFB.
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $1.2 billion contract to retrofit all 13 of the ROKAF’s KF-16C/D Block 50/52s to the advanced F-16V configuration. The extensive modernization and upgrades as part of this comprehensive improvement program includes active electronically scanned array (AESA Radar), Modular Mission Computer, Multi-function Information Distribution System-Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS), Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System-II (JHMCS II) and AN/ALR-56M advanced radar warning receiver upgrade, AN/APX-126 combined interrogator transponder and a Center Pedestal Display.