New Mega Display Cleared for F-16s’ Primary Flight Reference

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New assets for the F-16 office. Photo: Eric Vorstenbosch
The CDU replaces legacy analog instruments with digital ones, leaving a large area of digital display real estate for useful situational displays. Photo: Raytheon
The CDU replaces legacy analog instruments with digital ones, leaving a large area of digital display real estate for useful situational displays. Photo: Raytheon

Raytheon’s Center Display Unit (CDU) being fitted as part of the upgrading of US Air Forces’ Air National Guard F-16s has been endorsed by the Air Force as a primary flight reference (PFR) for the fighter. A PFR is a requirement in all aircraft and must include airspeed, altitude and attitude data, as well as flight path information for the pilot. “This endorsement means F-16 pilots can now use our CDU as their sole primary flight reference,” said Rudy Lewis, vice president of Customized Engineering and Depot Support for RTSC.

As shown in the video below, the CDU provides the pilot much more than flight data. The Center Display Unit (CDU) being fitted as part of the upgrading of US Air Forces’ F-16s has been endorsed by the Air Force as a primary flight reference (PFR) for the fighter.

The CDU replaces multiple legacy, analog flight instruments with a compact digital display leaving premium area for an ultra-large digital screen that can be used to present high resolution imagery from sensors, digital maps, or detailed situation displays – a cockpit layout common in generation 4.5 fighters.

Following the endorsement late last year, the Air Force awarded Raytheon a contract for full-rate production of the first 100 CDUs. The initial $3.1 million contract, awarded in 2010 Raytheon covered the delivery of 120 systems. Raytheon’s Technical Services Company LLC (RTSC) will perform engineering and the current low rate initial production (LRIP) on the system at its site in Indianapolis under the initial contract. The contract includes five optional years of full rate production with systems delivered to the Air Force logistics centers for the upgrade.