BAE Systems has released a new system to improve cybersecurity for the F-16. (Photo: BAE Systems)
BAE Systems said on Oct. 12 that it has released a new Viper Memory Loader Verifier II (MLV II) for F-16 fighters to enhance their protection from cyber attacks.
Carl Huncharek, F-16 product line director for BAE Systems, said in a statement that the first generation Viper MLV “has 20 years of proven reliability and durability in challenging flight line environments.”
“This new version of the product will include cyber-hardened aircraft mission capabilities, with an open system architecture that reduces lifecycle costs,” he said. The U.S. Air Force and over 25 foreign air forces have fielded more than 700 Viper MLVs, per BAE Systems.
Foreign military sales (FMS) of the Block 70/72 version of the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-16 and U.S. Air Force upgrades under the Post Block Integration Team project as many as 608 Block 40 and Block 50 F-16s are keeping the F-16 line alive. Since 2019, the U.S. State Department has approved F-16 Block 70/72 sales to Morocco, Taiwan, the Philippines, Bulgaria and Jordan. The U.S. Air Force F-16s are to receive 22 modifications, including Link 16 capability and the Northrop Grumman APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar.
BAE Systems said on Oct. 12 that two countries have ordered six Viper MLV IIs for F-16 Block 70/72s under FMS and that those countries may order 15 more Viper MLV IIs.
“In addition to the flight-critical ability to load and verify software onto the aircraft, the Viper MLV II supports mission data file loads, flight and fault data downloading, and third-party application software,” BAE Systems said. “Viper MLV II supports more than 100 onboard systems for the F-16, including mission and flight critical systems, such as the radar, electronic warfare, mission and flight control computers, crash survivable data recorders, engine control systems, navigation, and communications systems.”
BAE Systems plans to develop and build the Viper MLV II in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Viper MLV II “is fully compatible with the entire F-16 fleet and will use existing interface cables,” the company said. “While the Viper MLV II will be positioned for all new F-16 deployments, BAE Systems also continues to support the current equipment.”