QF-16s are former F-16 fighters that will be fitted with equipment for remote-controlled flight, and used as aerial targets and decoys for testing against air-air missiles, radars, surface-air missiles, etc. Could they be used for more than that?
The QF-16 is a follow-on to the QF-4 aerial target drone, which are converted by BAE Systems. The USAF is running out of F-4 family airframes to convert, and production is set to end in FY 2013. The QF-16s will be their replacements, but the conversion process must still be developed and tested. BAE Systems won’t be leading the QF-16 program, however; Boeing won that contract.