Did President Rodrigo R. Duterte procrastinate in
giving the go signal in the procurement of the most lethal technological
advanced combat jets’ U.S made F-16 Viper because the Chinese asked him not to
In case the Philippines purchase the latest version
of the fourth generation F-16V Block 70’s opus of Maryland based Lockheed
Martin, the Philippines Air Force will be possessing, according to Wikipidea,
the most modern aircraft in terms of avionics, radar, electronic warfare
equipment, automated round collision avoidance system (AGCAS), cockpit and
Before we go to the boring details of the
“Messenger of Death from the Sky”, here are the readers’ friendly features of
the plane and the “politics” that surround it.
The F-16V (Viper) is the latest evolution of the F-16
The F-16V is equipped with an upgraded programmable
displays generator, a Link-16 theatre data link where for example it can
connect with the enemies’ location thrown to her by either of the two South
Korean made frigates we bought and shoots SIMULTANEOUSLY through its advanced
Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with its AGM
119 those absconding Chinese warships in the Scarborough and those enemies at
the artificial islets, their submarines, and their cruising missiles with
other missiles it carries for those specification.
The plane’s carry the AGM-119/AGM-84/AGM-65G
An example of AGM-119 is the Penguin anti-ship
missile designated by the U.S. military. It is a Norwegian passive IR seeker
-based short-to-medium range anti-ship guided missile.
The Penguin, according to Wikipidea, can be fired
singly or in coordinated-arrival salvoes. Once launched the F-16 Viper is free
to turn-away as the missile is inertially guided until the autonomous terminal
The bad ass Viper is effing deadly thanks to the
modern technological marvel.
The AESA radar aboard the aircraft enables
all-weather targeting, and offers high-resolution detection and imaging of
land-based targets. The phased array radar allows the simultaneous application
of air-to-air and air-to-surface modes.
The Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam
Radar (SABR) AESA potency to the unsophisticated means spikes the Viper’s
capabilities versus increasingly sophisticated threats that include new enemy
cruise missiles as well as evermore-capable adversary fighters such as the
Chinese's Sukhoi Su-35S Flanker E.
Compared to the F-16’s existing APG-68 mechanically
scanned radar, the APG-83—which leverages technology from the fifth generation
stealth jet’s F-35 ’s APG-81—can detect, track and identify greater
numbers of targets much faster and at much longer ranges.
The Taiwanese government had just applied 143 of
its F-16 A/Bs for a U.S $4.21 upgrade to the F-16 V Block 70 as the growing
threat with Mainland China’s air force as seen on the latter aerial incursions
at its air space.
In “F-16V to beef up Taiwan’s air defense against
China’s J-20”, Asia Times wrote that in case aerial combat ensued at
the Taiwanese air space like the Bashi Channel versus the twin - engine multi
role Mach 2.0 Chengdu Aerospace Corporation’s J-22 of the Mainlanders, the
Vipers with their new radars like the AESA fire control system can detect the
Chinese stealth fighter, according to former Taiwanese defense minister Feng
The new AESA of the F-16V has twice of its
awareness with those Taiwan’s old F-16A/Bs.
Other advanced weapons the F-16V is rated to carry
and are likely to be included in future US arms sales are the AGM-154C joint
standoff weapon – or glide bomb – and the AGM-88B high-speed anti-radiation
The aircraft features airborne mission role-change
capability, and can detect and track time-critical hard-to-find targets in all
weather conditions. It also reduces operational costs for the users.
The F-16V fighter jet can be deployed in
suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) missions, air-to-ground and air-to-air
combat, and deep interdiction and maritime interdiction missions.
The Chinese had not only deployed warships like the
Jianghu Upgrade frigate but had built airbases on its artificial islands in the
Fiery Cross, Mischief Reefs, and Subi. The last island is near Palawan province
of the Philippines where Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMT) published
photos last April 28 of a military aircraft, a Shaanxi Y-8 parked there.
Combat jets like J-10s (Mach 1.8 multi-role
single engine aircraft) or J-11s ( Mach 2.35 twin-engine jet fighter based on
the Soviet Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter) will be commissioned
there in the Spratlys as some of them had landed at the Woody Island in the
14 jets for the full packaged of the F-16 V that
include armaments, radar, and others cost U.S $1.3 billion or almost $100
million apiece (or a staggering almost Philippine P5.3 billion each or P74.2
billion a squadron) as based on the sale this year of 14 Vipers to Slovakia by
Lockheed Martin, of course, upon the approval of the U.S government.
With our Mutual Defense Treaty with Uncle Sam, our
country could save more through the Foreign Military Sales and military
financial assistance than the Slovaks because we are seeing a growing menace
with the saber rattling Chinese who blatantly violated our maritime
Or we can buy those lethal Saab JAS
39 Gripen made by Sweden where a squadron of 12 jets at U.S $96 million
(Ph P5 billion) each had been bought by Thailand.
The problem, can the Gripin matches those deadly
features of the more expensive F-16 V had?
But the “Doves” in our government would say indeed
it is expensive where the monies should be spent wisely on those billions of
pesos of dikes, waterways as many parts of Luzon are submerged with floods and
those scarce public school buildings.
Let’s hear however the Latin adage of the “Hawks”:
Si vis pacem, para bellum (If you want peace, prepare for war)
popularized by Latin author Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus.
It has an Identification friend or foe (IFF) and
HF/UHF/VHF radio communications.
The single, high-performance, modular mission
computer (MMC) on the F-16V is a replacement of the three original computers.
It provides higher computing power to the avionics and weapon systems, while
offering improved situational awareness, air-to-air strike performances,
accurate targeting and information capabilities. The gigabit ethernet-based
architecture enables the control of electronic warfare displays and avionics
systems of the aircraft.
The advanced glass cockpit of the F-16V
incorporates upgraded mission computer, and state-of-the-art avionics, including
colour multi-function displays, a large high-resolution centre pedestal display
(CPD), helmet-mounted cueing system, and a high-volume, high-speed data bus.
The CPD enhances situational awareness of the crew
by supporting real-time processing and imaging of flight safety data.
Automated Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS)
The advanced fighter jet is also fitted with
precision GPS navigation and automated ground collision avoidance system
(AGCAS), which provides the pilot with alerts of imminent collision with the
ground and controls the aircraft to avoid a collision in case of pilot’s
unresponsiveness to visual cues.
It is armed with a range of air-to-air missiles
(AAMs) that includes the AIM-9 Sidewinder, Magic II and ASRAAM short-range
AAMs, AIM-7, Sky Flash, and AIM-120 medium-range’s AAMs. The high
off-bore-sight, infrared AAMs such as AIM-9X, Python IV, AIM-132 ASRAAM and
IRIS-T will also be offered.
The aircraft also supports the integration of
AGM-119/AGM-84/AGM-65G anti-ship missiles, and AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground
tactical missile, as well as Paveway laser-guided bombs, GBU-15 bombs and wind
corrected munitions dispenser weapons.
Due to space constraint, please Google Search each
of the mentioned armaments for understanding and appreciation.
The onboard Sniper advanced targeting pod (ATP)
offers high air-to-surface and air-to-air targeting capability to the F-16V. It
supports the launch of all laser-guided and GPS-guided weapons against multiple
stationary and moving targets. The aircraft can be integrated with FLIR/laser
system, and reconnaissance and navigation pods.
Electronic Warfare Equipment
The Viper fighter is equipped with upgraded
electronic warfare equipment and modern threat warning systems, including
jammers, threat warning receivers, electronic countermeasures equipment
pods, as well as chaff and infrared flare dispensers to defend the most
dangerous threats in complex battlefield scenarios.
The fighter jet is powered by a single Pratt &
Whitney F100-PW-229 or a General Electric F110-GE-129 turbofan engine. The
F100-PW-229 develops a thrust of 29,100lb, whereas the F110-GE-129 generates a
power of 29,500lb. The power-plant provides the aircraft with a maximum speed
of Mach 2 and a range of 1,740nmi.
Our 12 South Korean made F/A 50 Ph is each powered
by either the Eurojet’s EJ200 or General Electric’s F414 engine with a thrust
power of 20,000 lb to 22,000 lb and a maximum supersonic speed
of 1,837.5km/h (Mach 1.5).
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