The Israeli air force has decided to replace the flight control systems on its older Lockheed Martin F-16C/D "Barak" strike aircraft, using equipment developed for its more advanced F-16I "Sufa" fleet.
Israel launched a 2020 upgrade programme for its legacy F-16s last year, with its first examples already having received replacement cockpit avionics and a new mission debriefing system.
Recently, after the need to replace the Barak's flight control system was identified, a test was performed using the system from the F-16I. This was proved to work perfectly, and a decision was made to equip all F-16C/Ds with the equipment.
The upgrade is being performed on the squadrons with the supervision of the air force's central maintenance depot, the main technical unit number 22.
Israel is looking to phase out its oldest F-16A/Bs in the coming years, with no plans to upgrade their systems. However, expected delays in the delivery schedule for Lockheed's new-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could affect the pace of their planned retirement, as the air force wants to keep a certain inventory of combat aircraft at all times.