Friday, January 18, 2008

Super Cruise F-16

No secret we are a big fan here at New Wars of the John Boyd inspired warplane, the mighty F-16 Falcon, which has kept America supreme in the skies through 2 World Wars (The Cold War and the ongoing GWOT)! Here's some good news on its continued versatility from Strategypage:

The U.S. is offering to sell India a special F-16 that can do
supercruise. Thirty years ago, the manufacturer of the F-16 modified the design
a bit, and created a version (F-16XL) that could supercruise. That means it
could travel faster than the speed of sound ("supersonic", or about 1,000
kilometers an hour) without using the fuel guzzling afterburner. The concept was
put aside, because it wasn't really worth the effort at the time. A decade
later, when the F-22 and F-35 were in development, supercruise was reintroduced.

The F-16XL

Cost is expected at $100 million per aircraft, or about half the price of the latest F-22 Raptor Jet. USAF take notice, since the Falcon will likely still be in service somewhere for the next global conflict.