Just a study... there is no possible way that anything can come close to cost-benefit as well as modularity of the f16V/Blk80 configuration.
No USAF is conducting a study, that's it.
Not necessarily. They may hint at conducting studies, but more often than not it ends up being a real program. Their main goal is to further develop a new R&D process which they call eSeries, so the focus will be less on replacing the F-16 and more on finetuning the new process. And if the end result ends up being cheaper and more capable than the F-16, then they are all the more better for it.
Furthermore, the F-16 has peaked, it can't be improved anymore. Their Block 70 is a lemon, any new upgrade will just make it more and more lemony. The thing is no matter how good the avionics are, it's become so heavy and uses such powerful engines to move it that its internal fuel gives it less range than a clean Mig-21. So all of the F-16's mission fuel load is carried externally, it's no longer a viable fighter jet. It's overall an airframe issue.