The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, was awarded a not-to-exceed $49,677,000 firm-fixed-price letter contract for QF-16 Manufacturing Lot 6 Block 25 and Block 30 Distinctive Materials for Drone Peculiar Gear Package deal, program integration assist, manufacturing line assist materials and guarantee for drone peculiar gear lay-in materials. Work will probably be carried out in St. Louis, Missouri, and is anticipated to be accomplished by April 30, 2025. This award is the results of a sole supply acquisition. Fiscal 2021 Navy weapons procurement funds within the quantity of $4,186,507; and monetary 2022 procurement funds within the quantity of $20,651,992 are being obligated on the time of award. U.S. Air Pressure Life Cycle Administration Middle, Eglin Air Pressure Base, Florida, is the contracting exercise.

The U.S. Air Pressure plans to transform Block 15 F-16As, and Block 25, 30 F-16Cs into full-scale goal drones beneath the QF-16 Air Superiority Goal (AST) program. These AST drones are utilized in Weapon System Analysis Applications (WSEP) for assessing upgrades or replacements for air-to-air missiles (AAM), and they’re additionally helpful for giving pilots the expertise of a dwell AAM shot and kill previous to getting into fight. QF-16s would change the present QF-4 drones, the final of that are anticipated to be expended round 2015. The U.S. Air Pressure’s Air Armament Middle hosted its first “Trade Day” for distributors at Eglin AFB, Florida on 16–19 July 2007. Six F-16s will probably be modified in the course of the growth part, as prototypes for engineering assessments and analysis.


Retired U.S. Air Pressure Normal Dynamics Preventing Falcon plane are transformed into QF-16 aerial targets for the aim of testing newly developed weapons and techniques. (Photograph by Boeing)

From 2014, as much as 126 QF-16 drones will probably be created. The prototype QF-16 undertook its maiden flight in Might 2012. In January 2013, the 576th Aerospace Upkeep and Regeneration Squadron refit crew was resulting from start modification work on the QF-16 program. Davis-Monthan has 210 F-16s stocked for conversion. F-16C Block 30B s/n 85-1569 was the primary plane delivered in November 2012. On 19 September 2013, an empty F-16 jet examined by Boeing and US Air Pressure, two US Air Pressure pilots managed the airplane from the bottom because it flew from Tyndall Air Pressure Base, Panama Metropolis, Florida. The jet – which had beforehand sat mothballed at an Arizona website for 15 years – flew at an altitude of 40,000 ft (12.2 km) and a pace of Mach 1.47 (1,119 mph/1,800 km/h).

QF-16 carried out a sequence of maneuvers together with a barrel roll and a “break up S” – a transfer wherein the plane turns the wrong way up earlier than making a half loop in order that it flies the right-way-up in the wrong way. This can be utilized in fight to evade missile lock-ons. The agency added that the flight attained 7 g of acceleration however was able to finishing up maneuvers at 9 g – one thing which may trigger bodily issues for a pilot. On 19 July 2017, the primary QF-16 was shot down throughout a Fight Archer Weapons System Analysis Program (WSEP) train. In 2017, a QF-16 was used as a UCAV, autonomously attacking a floor goal as part of the “Loyal Wingman” program. The Air Pressure ran this train beneath the identify “Have Raider II”.

F-16s recently pulled out of storage at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. are restored to airworthiness before flying to Cecil Field, Jacksonville, Fl., to be converted into a QF-16 unmanned aerial target.
F-16s not too long ago pulled out of storage on the 309th Aerospace Upkeep and Regeneration Group in Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. are restored to airworthiness earlier than flying to Cecil Subject, Jacksonville, Fl., to be transformed right into a QF-16 unmanned aerial goal.(U.S. Air Pressure picture by Tech. Sgt. Perry Aston)