General Dynamics F-16IN Super Viper

Last revised September 23, 2015


The Indian government carried out a competition for a Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, which was intended to supply 125 combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force to replace the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighters currently in service. Six fighter aircraft were entered in the competition: the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Mikoyan MiG-35, the SAAB JAS 39 Gripen, plus a version of the F-16 known as the F-16IN Super Viper.

On January 17, 2008, Lockheed Martin announcet that they were offering a customized version of the F-16, the F-16IN Super Viper for the Indian MMRCA contract. The F-16IN, which is similar to the F-16E/F Block 60, will be a 4.5 generation aircraft. Lockheed Martin has stated that it will be the most advanced F-16 variant yet developed. It will be more advanced than the F-16 Block 52s that the Pakistan Air Force has acquired. The F-16IN features conformal fuel tanks; the AN/APG-80 AESA radar, the General Electric F110-132A engine with full authority digital (or electronics) controls;an electronic warfare suite and infra-red searching (IRST) equipment; an updated glass cockpit; and a helmet-mounted cueing system. As a teaser, Lockheed Martin offered to sell India the F-35 Lightning II in the future if the F-16 were chosen.

On 27 April 2011, after an intensive and detailed technical evaluation by the IAF, it was announced that the IAF had reduced the bidders to two fighters-—the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Dassault Rafale. On January 31, 2012 it was announced that Dassault Rafale had won the competition due to its lower life-cycle cost. Contract negotiations got underway. The deal has been reported to cost US$28–30 billion in 2014. On a joint press statement made by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with French President Francois Hollande, during his visit to France, the PM said that India will purchase 36 Rafales, but the contract was yet to be finalized. But the whole deal fell through. On April 13, 2015, the Indian defence minister made an announcement that the M-MRCA tender is "effectively dead". The program was officially ended on August 6, 2015 when the request for proposals were withdrawn by the Indian government

Sources:



  • General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon Variants, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon_variants#F-16V

  • The Indian MRCA Competition, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_MRCA_competition#Lockheed_Martin_F-16IN_Super_Viper