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FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed will not jump on stealth retrofit bandwagon for F-16

Lockheed Martin does not have any plans to add conformal weapons bays or podded weapons bays to its F-16 fighter to reduce its radar cross-section.

There is no way to graft stealth on to a fourth generation airframe, says Bill McHenry, Lockheed's F-16 business development director. He dismisses efforts by competitors like Boeing to add stealth features to aircraft like the F-15 and F/A-18.

"We thank our competitor for validating the need for stealth," he says. But McHenry adds: "You can't retrofit that level of stealth [onto a fourth generation fighter]."

That is why the USA is building the F-35 and why Russia and China are working on their own stealth fighter aircraft, he says, referring to the Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA and Chengdu J-20, respectively.

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