Lockheed Martin has informed StratPost that their starter for the MMRCA race, the F-16, is going into Phase II of the trials from Monday.
So far, the aircraft was in the first phase of trials which lasted a week. Phase I consisted of training on the aircraft for Indian Air Force (IAF) test pilots. The training comprised academic exercises, cockpit familiarization as well ‘a bit of flying’, as one insider put it.
From Monday, the aircraft will begin to be put through its paces by the IAF, an exercise that is expected to be exacting. The aircraft is to be ‘almost crash-tested’ over the skies of Bangalore, the Jaisalmer desert environment in Rajasthan, and the cold, and thin heights of Leh.
The F-16 is the second aircraft to be tried by the IAF for the over $ 10 billion order for 126 combat aircraft. The first was Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet.