The first of 84 Greek Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters to be upgraded to the F-16V Viper standard took to the skies on January 17. Greece’s minister for national defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, announced the news on Twitter.
The F-16V had been upgraded at the Tanagra facility of Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI), near Athens, with the support of Lockheed Martin.
The aircraft (reg. 005), was originally delivered as an F-16C Block 52+ in 2009 as part of the Peace Xenia IV sale. After modernization, the aircraft is now an F-16V in Block 72 configuration.
As the most advanced variant of the F-16 available today, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80 and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar [SABR]), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground-collision avoidance system (here you can find the Lockheed Martin brochure)
After the first flight, which was conducted by a U.S. test pilot the aircraft is to must complete 10 flight hours of testing over Tanagra AB before being ferried, supported by USAF tankers, to the USA by the end of January for completion of the conversion and thorough evaluation and certification.
The upgrade program is expected to be completed by June 2027.
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