April 23, 2005: The Mid-Life Update M3 Avionics Developmental Test Program for the European Participating Air Forces Came to an End

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

The Mid-Life Update (MLU) M3 avionics developmental test program for the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) finally came to an end. Since the start of the test program in late January 2002, the following results had been achieved across all three primary software releases (M3.1, M3.2, M3.3):  99 test sorties (181 flying hours); 57 support sorties (91.3 flying hours); ca. 250 hours of ground testing. The 416 FLTS / GPF CTF test team concluded that the M3 avionics update “provided a significant increase in combat capability and pilot situation awareness (SA) to the [EPAF] warfighter.”

The four European partners, collectively known as the European Participating Governments (EPG), are Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway; their air forces are likewise referred to as the European Participating Air Forces (EPAF).  Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems recently received a new contract to develop the next major software upgrade for the new Modular Mission Computer (MMC) on F-16s belonging to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the four European Participating Air Forces (EPAF) -- Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway.  The software provides common capability with the following new systems: Link 16 data link, Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System and AIM-9X. EPAF-unique additions will include a reconnaissance pod system, a missile approach warning system, electronic warfare management system updates, the IRIS-T and the U.S. family of smart weapons (Joint Direct Attack Munition, Joint Stand-Off Weapon, Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser). The AIM-9X and IRIS-T are high-off- boresight air-to-air missiles being developed in the United States and Europe, respectively.  USAF-unique additions will include a new weapon in development, the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. The Block 40 and 50 aircraft will employ a common Operational Flight Program (OFP) to support lean software development initiatives and accommodate unique Block 40 and Block 50 equipment and operational missions. The common software will accommodate the USAF's Block 40 and 50 Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP). As now planned, future software upgrades to these aircraft will continue the common OFP theme as initiated with the CCIP effort.

News Search