The Unmanned Moving Target
U.S. Air Force – The 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron and Boeing Co. conducted the flight, which is the first step in a two year process to phase out the QF-4 full scale aerial target.
“The QF-4 did a good job for many years, but it’s time to turn the page in the aerial target program. This program will bring us into the 4th generation aircraft,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Inman, the 82nd ATRS commander. “And will provide us with a mission capable, very sustainable aerial target to take us into the next 10 to 20 years.”
The first QF-16 was delivered to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., in November 2012 for operational and developmental testing to ensure their viability for aerial targets. The QF-16 is a supersonic reusable full-scale aerial target modified from an F16 Fighting Falcon. The emergence of U.S. 5th generation fighters such as the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning means American forces need an advanced target, similar to what they would actually find on the battle field. more> http://tinyurl.com/nvrdv94