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Fri, Mar 17, 2006

Polish F-16 Flies For First Time

One Of 48 Aircraft Ordered By PAF

Lockheed Martin announced this week the successful completion of the maiden flight of the first Polish F-16 aircraft. The flight took place in Ft. Worth, TX, and involved one of 48 aircraft ordered by the Government of Poland.

The pilot for the first flight was Paul Hattendorf, a company test pilot for Lockheed Martin. He performed numerous system checks, including engine throttle transients at various altitudes and radar checks using a photo chase F-16 as a simulated target. Hattendorf also took the aircraft to supersonic speeds and performed high-g maneuvers during the flight, which lasted just over an hour.

After several additional check flights by both company and US Air Force test pilots, this first Polish F-16 is scheduled to be ferried to Edwards AFB, CA in April for more system-specific testing. The aircraft will be delivered to the Polish Air Force in November 2006.

"The Poland Peace Sky program continues to progress right on schedule," said Irma Sippel, director of the Poland F-16 program. "First flight is a significant milestone and the first of several leading to the planned arrival of the aircraft in Poland later this year. We continue to be excited about our progress and about meeting our customer's expectations."

When delivered, Polish F-16s will be the most advanced in NATO. Features of the Block 52+ include an AN/APG-68(V) 9 radar fire control system and a Sniper Extended Range pod, which is an advanced targeting pod designed with an infrared pointer, laser, day TV, forward looking infrared, laser spot tracker and advanced algorithms. The pod delivers superior tracking performance and reliability.

Additionally, the multi-role fighter developed for Poland is equipped with a helmet-mounted cueing system used for directing precision guided munitions and off-boresight missiles as well as for increasing pilot situational awareness.

The aircraft is designed to be fully interoperable with NATO and European Union missions.

FMI: www.wlop.mil.pl, www.lockheedmartin.com


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