Chile plans to upgrade its F-16 fleet, new AESA radars

SANTIAGO – The Chilean Air Force is studying options for upgrading its fleet of 46 F-16 fighters to keep the aircraft up-to-date through the 2030s, according to Jane’s.

The plan, set to be launched between 2018 and 2021, aims to fit Chile’s F-16s with a new mission electronics package built around a synthetic aperture, active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

A new mission planning and management system, new Electronic Countermeasures (ECM)/Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, and upgrades in the cockpit would also be included.

The Jane’s report, citing military sources, suggest the studies are also considering increasing the number of Block 50 aircraft, adding six to eight to the current fleet of 10 Block 50s; and how many of the 36 mid-life upgrade second-hand aircraft bought from the Netherlands would be upgraded.