Boeing has received the first USAF F-16 Falcon at its Cecil Field facility in Jacksonville, Florida, that is to undergo conversion work into a QF-16 aerial drone.
The Boeing led team, which includes BAE Systems, will begin engineering, manufacturing and development of the full scale manned and unmanned QF-16s during Phase 1. The drones will be used as aerial targets for newly developed weapons and tactics, and will replace QF-4 drones.
The team will receive six F-16s during the program’s development phase. After modification to the QF-16 configuration, they will serve as prototypes for engineering tests and evaluation prior to low rate initial production. Up to 126 QF-16 drones will be converted beginning in 2014.