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  • F-16 Gets A Probe
    Posted by Bill Sweetman 11:03 AM on Jul 28, 2010

    It's remarkable that the Lockheed Martin F-16, despite being exported worldwide for 35 years, can't be refueled except by the handful of air forces that fly boom-equipped tankers. Cobham's Sargent-Fletcher division demonstrated a modified 370 gal wing tank a few years ago that housed a retractable probe, apparently for Israel, but as far as is known it was not adopted.

    Hose and drogue refueling is mandatory for India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft contest, however, so Lockheed Martin, Cobham and HAL have teamed up to develop the Conformal Air Refueling Tanker/System (CARTS), which adds a probe in the forward end of the right-hand overwing conformal tank.

    blog post photo

    blog post photo

    As the upper picture shows, CARTS makes the F-16 into a refueling hermaphrodite, with both a probe and a slipway, a feature not seen on many aircraft - the UK's E-3D AWACS and the F-105 are the only examples I can think of. In addition to being offered for the F-16IN, it is retrofittable to any Advanced Block 50/52 version.

    Tags: ar99, f-16

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