BAE Systems has been selected by Lockheed Martin to provide flight controls to upgrade next-generation F-16 aircraft for the United Arab Emirates.
The company will provide the F-16s with its advanced Digital Flight Control Computer, which receives demand inputs from the pilots’ control stick and rudder pedals, and monitors current flight conditions from on-board sensors. It also rapidly computes and transmits commands to all actuators throughout the aircraft, including rudders, stabilizers, and spoilers to maintain controlled flight.
“Our high-integrity controls provide pilots with next-generation advanced technology,” said Corin Beck, director of Military Aircraft Systems at BAE Systems. “We continue to bring innovations to the F-16, such as the computing platform for the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System and now this digital fly-by-wire flight control computer.”
The initial order from Lockheed Martin includes a range of services such as design, qualification, integration, flight test, and certification for the flight control computer. Production orders for approximately 100 units are then expected in 2020 and 2021, for up to a total of 315 units through 2028. Additional orders may be exercised in the future under the terms of the agreement for upgrades and potential new builds of F-16s.
Development and production for this contract will take place at BAE Systems’ site in Endicott, New York.
BAE Systems is a market leader in the design, development, production, and support of highly reliable flight control systems for commercial and military aircraft. It was the first to introduce fly-by-wire in both military applications and civil applications. The company’s commitment to innovation continues today with advancements in high integrity controls for not only the F-16 Block 40, 50, 60, and 70 covered under this contract, but the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance Systems for Block 30 F-16 aircraft. BAE Systems also provides the quad redundant side stick pilot controller for all configurations of the aircraft.