BAE Systems has introduced a new maintenance capability to protect the onboard systems of F-16 fighter aircraft from potential cyber-attacks.

Known as Viper Memory Loader Verifier II (MLV II), the new system helps increase the aircraft’s defence against cyber threats.

It is an updated version of Viper MLV maintenance aid.

BAE Systems F-16 product line director Carl Huncharek said: “Our 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.”

The Viper MLV II version can provide flight-critical ability to install and verify various software and mission data files onto the aircraft.

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It can also support downloading of flight and fault data along with third-party application software.

The company claims that this new version can support over 100 mission and flight critical systems onboard F-16 aircraft.

It includes engine control systems, radar, mission and flight control computers, recorders, communications systems, navigation, electronic warfare and crash survivable data.

BAE Systems said that two countries have already requested to acquire the Viper MLV II capability for the F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, through a foreign military sales deal.

Both the countries, whose names have not been disclosed, have ordered a total of six MLV II systems, with an additional follow-on option for 15 systems.

Production of Viper MLV II will be carried out at the company’s facility in Fort Worth, Texas, US.

Being fully compatible with the entire F-16 fleet, the field-proven MLV II version uses existing interface cables and is expected to primarily be positioned for new F-16 deployments.