This M3/M3+ software release is an important event for both the USAF and EPAF operators," said Col.
The M3 software will be installed on approximately 350 EPAF F-16A/Bs that have already undergone the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update modification and are now receiving hardware changes associated with the M3 upgrade.
The five nations of the F-16 EPAF program are Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Portugal, which joined in 1994.
The multinational collaboration that began with the F-16 EPAF has paved the way for similar initiatives, including the Joint Strike Fighter program that brings together nine countries to create the world's next generation fighter aircraft.
The software update is identified as M3/M3+, with M3 designating the EPAF version and M3+ for the USAF version.
The M2 version, also for the EPAF, is in development and will be fielded in October of 2000.
Anderson, vice president of the F-16/F-2 production business group at Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems, said, "We expect the common software development approach will save approximately $35 million, or 35 percent, compared to conducting separate development efforts for the EPAF and USAF.