Lockheed-Martin F-16A Block 15 (e)MLU - Royal Thai Air Force's Renovated Falcon

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Lockheed-Martin F-16A Block 15 (e)MLU - Royal Thai Air Force’s Renovated Falcon

Hi and welcome to my 41th, which is about the Thai F-16A (e)MLU, hope you like it. :popcorn:

First of all:

  • This is a suggestion for an aircraft we could see in game at some point in the Future , that doesn´t mean next Patch or somewhere in the near Future
  • Feel free to share more Information and / or correct me if something is wrong
  • Discuss respectfully, any aggressive kind or verbal abuse will be reported, the Forum rules also apply here

Background History

Originally designed for air superiority, the F-16 Fighting Falcon evolved quickly into an successful all-weather multi-role fighter. In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to Lockheed Corporation, which became Lockheed Martin after a merger in 1995 with Martin Marietta.
The Royal Thai Air Force initially purchased 12 F-16A/B Block 15 OCU fighter aircraft, followed by six additional aircraft. In 1995 it received an additional 18 aircraft, the last of the Block 15 series. An attempt to purchase F/A-18 Hornets failed, with the US instead offering ex-USAF F-16 ADFs. A total of 18 of these aircraft were purchased.
In 2005, the Republic of Singapore Air Force donated three F-16A Block 15 OCUs and four F-16B Block 15 OCUs to Thailand. In 2011, 18 F-16A/Bs were scheduled to be upgraded to the F-16 (e)MLU standard. The endurance improvement of the Squadron 403s F-16A/B Block 15 OCU to a F-16A/B (e)MLU (Enhanced Mid-Life Upgrade) standard occured in three phases: The first phase extends from 2011 to 2013. Phase 2 and phase 3 from 2013 to 2015 and from 2015 to 2017 respectively. In each phase, 6 F-16s were updated, with the first update in 2011 replacing old with new modern equipment and armament expansions.

The Lockheed-Martin F-16A Block 15 (e)MLU Overall

Thailand’s F-16A Block 15 (e)MLU (enhanced Mid-Life Update) was designed to extend the lifespan and modernize some of the F-16A Block 15 OCUs that have been in service for some time. The update provided for the renewal of outdated electronics and a new radar; AN/APG-68(V)9, more countermeasures, JHMCS, Sniper XR and an F-16C similar cockpit to be installed.
The (e)MLU not only updated the old F-16s, but also combined the OCUs and ADFs into one airframe; AIM-120 AMRAAM and the IRIS-T missiles from Germany were now also on board. Since it is now a real multi-role fighter, in addition to BVR and next gen dogfight missiles, there are also guided air-to-ground weapons, which was previously separate for the ADF and OCU.


Picture of #40307 pre / post (e)MLU
  • F-16A Block 15 OCU12 from Neresuan III batch 1995-1996

grafik

  • Same airframe post (e)MLU | Note: this type of IFF antennas were added with (e)MLU, which can be seen on many pictures, when comparing OCU, ADF and (e)MLU

  • F-16A Block 15 ADF | As in-game, the IFF antennas look like “slapped on”, while on (e)MLU, the antennas were integrated into the nose, just like on e.g. F-16C Block 50


Visually you can distinguish the OCU, ADF and (e)MLU by looking at the IFF antennas in front of the cockpit, and sometimes the armament. While there are no antennas on the OCU and the IFF antennas on the ADF seem to be “glued on”, on the (e)MLU these are clearly integrated into the airframe. The second most noticeable thing, however, is the carrying of the IRIS-T missile, which has now become Thailand’s main dogfight missile and has also found space on the modern F-5TH Super Tigris and JAS39C/D.

Armament of the F-16A Block 15 (e)MLU

The (e)MLU’s armament includes laser-guided bombs, Maverick missiles, as well as AIM-9s, AIM-120 and IRIS-T. The guided bombs do not require body lasing thanks to the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR ATP targeting pods, which makes them easier to implement into the game.
The internal armament is still an M61A1 with 512 rounds.

Air-to-Air Missiles

  • 4x IRIS-T
  • 6x AIM-9P-4
  • 6x AIM-9L / M
  • 6x AIM-120A / B
  • 6x AIM-120C-5

Guided- / Dumb- Bombs & Missiles

  • 4x GBU-10
  • 4x GBU-12
  • 4x GBU-16

  • 4x Mk.84
  • 19x Mk.82

  • 4x AGM-65D
  • 4x AGM-65G / G-2

Specifications, Electronics and Internal

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 14,52 m
  • Wingspan: 9,45 m
  • Height: 5,01 m
  • Max. takeoff weight: 14.966 kg
  • Powerplant: 1x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200
    • Dry thrust: 64,9 kN
    • Afterburner thrust: 105,72 kN
  • Maximum speed: Mach 2
  • Service ceiling: 18.290 m
  • Rate of climb: 290 m/s
  • Maximum g-load: +9g / -3g

Thanks for your time, hope you liked it :salute:
[Will add more if there are some (more) important / declassified things]
[PM or comment if a Link or Picture isn´t working]

Sources:

Links

DEFENSE STUDIES: RTAF F-16 MLU Roll Out Ceremony
F-16.net - The ultimate F-16, F-35 and F-22 reference
AAG_th บันทึกประจำวัน: กองบิน๑ กองทัพอากาศไทยนำเครื่องบินขับไล่ F-16A ADF ประจำการในฝูงบิน๑๐๓ หลังย้ายจากฝูงบิน๑๐๒
Achieving Superiority: Modernising the Royal Thai Air Force
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2016-08-15/thai-f-16-upgrade-includes-german-air-air-missiles
Royal Thai Air Force Activates Third F-16 Squadron - Aug 19, 2002
RTAF F-16
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.595361387204906.1073741871.172244062849976&type=3

Book / Others:
Defense Security Cooperation Agency - Transmittal No. 10-54 (Archived PDF)


List of Suggestions for Thailand

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I assume F-16AM eMLU would be 13.0 BR and located after F-5TH Super Tigris but not sure before or after JAS39 Gripen C

Would fit perfectly in Japan…since they already operate similar aircraft such as the F-2

1 Like