This was stated by the United States Air Force deputy chief for operations, Lieutenant General Herbert J. "Hawk" Carlisle while testifying.
He said that upgradation of the F-16s is essential to keep the Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve fighter force maintain effective fighting capability before the fifth generation F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) becomes operational.
The F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) will focus on increasing the life of the F-16 airframe from 8,000 to "at least" 10,000 hours allowing the fighter jets to remain operational for an other 8 years. Upgrade will cos around $9.4 million per aircraft.