General Dynamics F-16C/D Block 30/32 Fighting Falcon

Last revised September 24, 2015


The Block 25 F-16C/D aircraft were all powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 turbofan. A pair of these engines also powered the F-15 Eagle. However, the F100 turbofan had been prone to stagnation stalls from the beginning, and the company had added a new fuel pump and a redesigned augmentor in an attempt to reduce the frequency of these engine stalls and to make it easier to restart the engine when they did occur.

Unhappy with the accident rate due to stagnation stalls in both the F-15 and F-16, in 1979, the USAF placed a contract with General Electric to develop an alternative engine for both fighters. General Electric combined the core of the Rockwell B-1's F101 engine with a scaled-up version of the F404 low-pressure system and augmentor. This engine was ultimately to emerge as the F110.

In order to remain competitive, Pratt and Whitney continued to work on improvements to their F100 engine. Nevertheless, even after several years of work on the part of Pratt & Whitney, the Air Force was still unhappy with the rate at which stagnation stalls were occurring, and in early 1984 the Air Force officially launched an Alternative Fighter Engine (AFE) program to look for an alternative engine for both the F-15 and the F-16. As originally planned, there would be a competition every fiscal year between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney for engine orders for both F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Competition between these two companies would, it was hoped, keep prices down, and having a second source would help to ensure a steady supply of engines. There could even be a mixed buy each year, with engines being purchased from both companies.

As it turned out, the number of F-15 orders was too small to justify such a split order, and the competition between General Electric and Pratt & Whitney was confined to the F-16.

The two USAF candidate engines were the General Electric F101 DFE (now redesignated F110) and a revised Pratt & Whitney F100. In February 1984, the USAF announced that General Electric had been awarded 75 percent of the total engine contracts for the FY 1985 run of F-16 fighters. The remaining FY 85 F-16s would use the upgraded Pratt & Whitney F100, known as the F100-PW-220. The F110 was to be phased into the General Dynamics production line as soon as production engines became available, but it was agreed that individual USAF F-16 units should never operate a mix of engine types, the choice of engine being made at the wing level.

The first F-16 version to accommodate both engines was the Block 30/32 (sometimes known as MSIP Stage III), with Block 32 aircraft having the Pratt & Whitney F100 and Block 30 having the General Electric F-110. The two Blocks have a common engine bay that can accommodate either engine, but for various technical reasons described below, it is not practical to fit a Block 32 F-16 with a F110 engine or to fit a Block 30 F-16 with a F100 engine.

The Block 30 F-16 was powered by the 28,984 lb.s.t. General Electric F110-GE-100 engine. This engine is somewhat larger than the F100 and about 771 pound heavier. However, the F110 provides about 5000 pounds more thrust than the F100. For this reason, it requires a larger amount of air. This in turn required that the area of the air intake be increased to admit the extra air. However, this change was not made at first, and early F-16C/D Block 30s (Block 30A and 30B) were "small inlet" aircraft, the large inlet being made standard for F110-powered Fighting Falcons from serial number 86-0262 onward. The "large-mouth" intakes allows air mass flow to increase from 254 to 270 pounds per second. The "large- mouth" intakes can be distinguished from "small-mouth" intakes by the presence of a ECS ram air inlet duct below the fuselage which is canted slightly forward. In addition, the engine exhaust nozzle for F110-powered aircraft is slightly shorter and more round than that of the F100-powered F-16s. Because of the higher thrust, the Block 30 F-16 is a better performer than the Block 32.

The Block 32 F-16 was powered by the F100-PW-220 engine, which offered a thrust of 23,770 pounds. The F100-PW-220 was slightly less powerful than the F100-PW-200, but had a new, longer-life compressor, a more stable augmentor, and a digital engine control system which made the engine more reliable and less prone to stagnation stalling.

Blocks 25 and 32 are alost identical in external appearance except for the latter's ducts for the ASPJ. Unfortunately, air intake shapes could not be standardized on the production line because the lower-thrust F100 engine could not accommodate the additional air, and the F100 powered F-16s in Block 30 retained the original smaller intake shape. A kit has been developed to bring earlier -200 engines up to a standard nearly equivalent to -220, these converted engines being designated F100-PW-220E.

The air intake inlet of both variants has been specially treated with several radar absorbing material coatings, which radically reduces the radar cross section of the aircraft.

Block 30/32 fighters introduced expanded computer memory for the Programmable Display Generator and the Data Entry Electronics Unit. They were also provided with the Seek Talk secure voice communication system.

Block 30/32 also introduced the capability of carrying and launching the AGM-45 Shrike antiradiation missile, the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile, and the Hughes AGM-65D Maverick air-to surface missile.

Block 30/32 aircraft also introduced the AN/ALE-40 radar warning receiver and the ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensor. Block 30/32F and beyond added provisions for four rather than two chaff/flare dispensers added on the left side of the aircraft (the aft fuel cell had to be decreased slightly in size to accommodate this change). Block 30/32s also introduced structural upgrades to strengthen the airframe, and they were fitted with adhesively-sealed center and aft tanks. The Block 30/32 also introduced a radar warning receiver located in a knob-like fairing on the leading edge flap on both sides of the wing, replacing a RWR previously located on the nose. This new location gives vetter hemispherical coverage in the forward direction. This RWR has been retrofitted to many earlier F-16s.

Full level IV multi-target capability for the AIM-120 AMRAAM missilewas added in the spring of 1987; these aircraft were designated Block 30B. Expanded memory was provided for the Programmable Display Generator and the Data Entry Electronics Unit. Block 30/32 also introduced the Seek Talk secure voice communication system, and were equipped with seal-bond fuel tanks. In August 1987, provisions to fire the AGM-45 Shrike and AGM-88 HARM were made, together with installation of a voice message unit and crash-survivable flight data recorder. Starting with mini-block D, twice as many chaff/flare dispensers could by carried. Also in Block 30D, the Forward RWR antennas were relocated to the leading edge flap. Dubbed "beer can" antennas for obvious reasons, these have since been retrofit onto all previous F-16C/D's.

The first Block 30 F-16C (85-1398) took off on its first flight on June 12, 1986 with company pilot John Fergione at the controls. The first Block 30 F-16D (85-1509) flew on July 30, 1986, with Joe Bill Dryden and Dave Thigpen in the cockpit.

The first flight of a Block 32 F-16C (86-0210) was made on June 12, 1986, with John Fergione at the controls. The first Block 32 F-16D took off on its maiden flight on the same day with Dave Thigpen and Joe Bill Dryden in the cockpit.

Block 30/32 Fighting Falcons were manufactured beginning in January of 1986, with the first of 733 deliveries taking place in July of 1987. Block 30/32 aircraft were also supplied to the air forces of Turkey, Israel, Greec, Egypt, and South Korea. Production eneded in 1989.

146 Block 30 F-16C/Ds are to be modified for the CAS role. They will carry the General Electric GPU-5/A "Pave Claw" gun pod, which houses the four-barrel GAU-13/A 30-mm cannon. They will take the place of the A-16 dedicated CAS version of the Fighting Falcon, which has been axed.

Serials of Block 30/32 F-16C/D:

84-1370/1373		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32A Fighting Falcon 
				For South Korea as 41370/41373
84-1332			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon  
				For Egypt as 9501
84-1333/1339		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32A Fighting Falcon  
				For Egypt as 9502/9508
84-1340/1343		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32 Fighting Falcon  
				For Egypt as 9401/9404
84-1344/1345		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32A Fighting Falcon  
				For Egypt as 9405/9406
85-1398			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1402			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1400			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1402			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1408			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1410			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1412			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1414			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon			
85-1422			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon		
85-1424			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1426			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1428			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1432			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1434			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1436			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1438			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1440			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1442			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1444			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1446			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1448/1451		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1453/1485		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1486/1505		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30B Fighting Falcon
85-1509			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1511			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30 Fighting Falcon
85-1513			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1517			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30A Fighting Falcon
85-1518/1523		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32A Fighting Falcon 
				for Egypt as 9509/9514
85-1524/1543		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32B Fighting Falcon 
				for Egypt as 9515/9534
85-1544/1570		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30B Fighting Falcon
85-1571/1573		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30B Fighting Falcon
85-1574/1575		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32 Fighting Falcon
				to South Koreas as 51574/15175
85-1576/1579		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32A Fighting Falcon
				to South Korea as 51576/51579
85-1580/1583		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32B Fighting Falcon
				to South Korea as 51580/51583
85-1584/1585		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32A Fighting Falcon 
				to South Korea as 51584,51585			
86-039/041		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-042/043		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-044/047		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-048			General Dynamics NF-16D Block 30F Fighting Falcon 
				VISTA aircraft to NASA
86-049/053		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30E Fighting Falcon
86-066/072		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30B Fighting Falcon  
				for Turkey under Peace Onyx I as 86-0066/0072
				first two built by Fort Worth, rest by TAI
86-191/196		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30B Fighting Falcon 
				built by Fort Worth for Turkey  
86-207/209		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-210/215		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-216			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-217/218		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-219			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-220			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-221/235		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-236			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-237			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-238/241		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-242/249		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon			
86-250/253		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon				
86-254/255		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-256/257		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon
86-258/261		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon
86-262/268		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-269			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-270			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-271/273		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-274/278		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-279/281		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-282			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-283			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-284			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-285			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-286/290		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-291/292		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-293/295		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-296			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-297/298		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-299			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon
86-300/316		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
86-317/371		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30E Fighting Falcon
86-1586/1589		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32C Fighting Falcon 
				for South Korea
86-1590/1593		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32D Fighting Falcon 
				for South Korea
86-1594/1597		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32E Fighting Falcon 
				for South Korea
86-1598/1601		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30 Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel under Peace Marble II as 301, 
				304, 305, 307
86-1602/1612		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 309,310,315,317,318,321,324,
				326,332,333,and 337 under Peace Marble II.
87-002/003		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30E Fighting Falcon 
				built by TAI for Turkey, Peace Onyx I
87-009/018		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30B Fighting Falcon  
				Built by TAI for Turkey, Peace Onyx I
87-019/021		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30E Fighting Falcon  
				Built by TAI for Turkey, Peace Onyx I
87-217/266		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30F Fighting Falcon
87-267			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32F Fighting Falcon
87-268			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30F Fighting Falcon
87-269			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32F Fighting Falcon
87-270/292		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-293			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-294			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-295			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-296			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-297			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-298			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-299			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-300			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-301			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-302			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon				
87-303			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-304			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-305			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-306			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-307			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-308			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-309			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon			
87-310			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-311			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-312			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-313			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-314			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon 
87-315			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-316			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-317			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-318			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-319			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-320			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-321			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-322			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-323			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-324			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-325			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-326			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-327			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-328			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-329			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-330			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-331			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-332			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon 
87-333			General Dynamics F-16C Block 32J Fighting Falcon 
87-334/349		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon
87-363/368		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30F Fighting Falcon				
87-369			General Dynamics F-16D Block 32F Fighting Falcon			
87-370/380		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30H Fighting Falcon			
87-381			General Dynamics F-16D Block 32H Fighting Falcon
87-382			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30H Fighting Falcon
87-383/390		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30J Fighting Falcon
87-1653/1656		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32F Fighting Falcon 
				for South Korea as 71653/71656.
87-1657/1660		General Dynamics F-16C Block 32H Fighting Falcon 
				for South Korea as 71657/71660.
87-1661/1664		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30A Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 340,341,344,343, Peace Marble II
87-1665/1679		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30B Fighting Falcon 
				To Israel as 348,349,350,353,355,356,360
				364,367,368,371,373,374,377,and 378, Peace
				Marble II.
87-1680/1693		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon 
				To Israel as 381,384,386,388,389,391,393
 				394,392,397,399,383,385, and 376, Peace
				Marble II.
87-1694			General Dynamics F-16D Block 30A Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 020, Peace Marble II
87-1695/1698		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30D Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel, Peace Marble II
87-1699/1708		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30E Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 036,022,041,045,039,046,
				050,057,061, and 055, Peace Marble II.
88-013  		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30E Fighting Falcon  
				built by TAI for Turkey, Peace Onyx I 
88-019/032		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30E Fighting Falcon  
				built by TAI for Turkey, Peace Onyx I
88-110/111		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30H Fighting Falcon
				for Greece as 110/111, Peace Xenia
88-112/123		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon
				For Greece as 112/123, Peace Xenia
88-124/139		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30K Fighting Falcon
				For Greece as 124/139, Peace Xenia
88-140/143		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30L Fighting Falcon
				For Greece as 140/143, Peace Xenia
88-144/147		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30H Fighting Falcon
				For Greece as 144/147, Peace Xenia
88-148/149		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30J Fighting Falcon
				For Greece as 148/149, Peace Xenia
88-150/152		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30K Fighting Falcon
88-397/411		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30K Fighting Falcon
88-1709/1710		General Dynamics F-16C Block 30C Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 359 and 313, Peace Marble II
88-1711			General Dynamics F-16C Block 30D Fighting Falcon
				for Israel as 329, Peace Marble II
88-1712/1720		General Dynamics F-16D Block 30F Fighting Falcon 
				for Israel as 065,069,070,072,074,077/079,
				and 083, Peace Marble II
90-938/941		General Dynamics F-16D Block 32Q Fighting Falcon
				sold to South Korea as 00938/00941


This list is almost certainly incomplete and I would (as always) appreciate hearing from anyone who has additions or corrections.

Specification of Lockheed/General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon:

Engine: One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 turbofan, 23,770 lb.s.t. with afterburning or one General Electric F110-GE-100 turbofan, 28,984 lb.s.t with afterburning. Performance (at 27,245 pounds with F100 engine): Maximum short-endurance speed: Mach 2.02 (1333 mph) at 40,000 feet. Maximum sustained speed Mach 1.89 (1247 mph) at 40,000 feet. Tactical radius (hi-lo-hi interdiction on internal fuel with six 500-lb bombs) 360 miles. Maximum ferry range 2450 miles with maximum external fuel. Dimensions: wingspan 31 feet 0 inches, length 49 fee5 4 inches, height 16 feet 8 1/2 inches, wing area 300 square feet. Weights: 18,238 pounds empty, 26,463 pounds normal loaded (air-to-air mission), 42,300 pounds maximum takeoff. Armament: One 20-mm M61A1 rotary cannon and up to 12,430 pounds of ordnance or fuel distibuted between one fuselage centerline and six underwing stations, plus wingtip stations. An AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile is normally carried on each wingtip station.

Sources:


  1. Combat Aircraft F-16, Doug Richardson, Crescent, 1992.

  2. General Dynamics Aircraft and their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angelucci and Peter Bowers, Orion, 1987.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. F-16 Fighting Falcon--A Major Review of the West's Universal Warplane, Robert F. Dorr, World Airpower Journal, Spring 1991.

  6. The World's Great Interceptor Aircraft, Gallery, 1989.

  7. Modern Military Aircraft--F-16 Viper, Lou Drendel, Squadron/Signal Publications, 1992.

  8. Lockheed F-16 Variants, Part 1, World Airpower Journal, Volume 21, Summer 1995.

  9. Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 40 and Beyond, Bill Sweetman, World AirPower Journal, Vol 36, Spring 1999

  10. F-16C/D Block 30/32, http://www.f-16.net/f-16_versions_article6.html