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This is my next project, type is "What if?". I will build the CAS-version of the F-16, dubbed A-16 and designed to replace the A-10...


The Revell kit of the 1/72 F-16C will be the base for this project:




The cockpit was quickly done...




...as well as the main fuselage:






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Not knowing enough about modern jets to know whether there was talk about an actual A-16 or not, I went looking on the web.

A couple of finds,




The F-16s from the 174th were deployed to the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, but the project proved to be a miserable failure. Precision aiming was impossible for several reasons:

The pylon mount isn't as steady as the A-10's rigid mounting;

The F-16 flies much faster than an A-10, giving the pilots too little time approaching the target;

Firing the gun shook the aircraft harshly and made it impossible to control;

Essential CCIP (continuously computed impact point) software was unavailable.

Pilots ended up using the gun as an area effect weapon, spraying multiple targets with ammunition, producing an effect rather like a cluster bomb. It took only a couple of days of this before they gave up, unbolted the gun pods, and went back to dropping real cluster bombs - which did the job more effectively.

The F/A-16C plan was quietly forgotten. The USAF still has plans to replace the A-10 with F-16s, but they no longer involve 30mm gun pods (or, apparently, a designation with an "A" in it).







The type was to have received the ‘Block 60’ designation; however, the A-16 never went into production due to a Nov. 26, 1990 Congressional directive to the USAF mandating that it retain two wings of A-10s.

A second outcome of that directive was a decision by the USAF that, instead of upgrading the A-10, it would seek to retrofit 400 Block 30/32 F-16s with new equipment to perform both CAS and battlefield air interdiction (BAI) missions. The project which was called F/A-16 featured new systems such as a digital terrain-mapping system and a Global Positioning System (GPS) for improved navigational and weapons delivery accuracy, as well as an Automatic Target Handoff System (ATHS) to allow direct digital target/mission data exchange between the pilot and ground units. This approach, however, was dropped in January 1992 in favor of equipping Block 40/42 F-16C/Ds with Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pods.


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Yep, I read those articles, too, and that´s why my "A-16" is a "what if". What if they were able to overcome the vibrations of the podded 30mm? 😉




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Sorry for not posting much, but somehow a F-16 is not that entertaining during building (at least for everyone else except the modeller).




Just worked along and have "luck" today, since my younger daughter is sick and can´t go to kindergarten. My wife has important business today, so I stay at home instead of going to work.




Added the podded sensors on the air intake:




I think I can start painting this evening!






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Oh yes!!


This is the first coat, a brighter green:




Then I added the dark green:






I hope to paint the final gunship grey tomorrow.




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Decals and weapons are placed!




I used an old 30mm GEPOD from the Italeri F-15E - it barely fits under the belly!




More pictures when I have a chance to take them outside.




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It´s done!






I used the kits decals, only had to replace the "stars'n'bars" because they were pretty bright grey, nearly white.














The load-out is pretty "dumb", but I ran out of Mavericks and therefor decided to hang CBUs and the GEPOD only.




And with the aircraft that the F/A-16 was scheduled to replace...:












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Hajo, you really know how to pick aircraft that look awesome in camo.  That hud really stands out nice through the canopy.  Great job, they look nice together but as far as F-16 being able to replace the A-10...

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Thank you, guys! I was a pleasure to build, and I´m already working on the next project (the "GrowLear"), and have another one in the pipeline!




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