Lockheed to build 90 F-16 jet fighter aircraft and avionics for U.S. allies in potential $62 billion deal

Aug. 18, 2020
The Block 70 F-16 aircraft is the most advanced F-16; Lockheed Martin won a $512 million contract last April to build eight F-16 Block 70 jet fighters.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio – Aerial warfare experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. will build new F-16 jet fighter aircraft for U.S. allies under terms of a potential $62 billion 10-year contract announced Friday.

Officials of the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, are asking the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics segment in Fort Worth, Texas, to build an initial 90 foreign military sales (FMS) F-16s for $4.9 billion.

The Block 70 F-16 aircraft is the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration. Lockheed Martin won a $512 million contract last April to build eight F-16 Block 70 single-seat jet fighters for Bulgaria. Fridays contract announcement does not specify if it involves F-16 Block 70 aircraft.

The F-16 Block 70 avionics has the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. This variant, called the Viper, first flew in October 2015. It has a center pedestal display, and a modernized mission computer.

Related: Air Force increases its buy of advanced F-16 jet fighter SABR AESA radar avionics buy from Northrop Grumman

The Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 features the most advanced fourth-generation fighter aircraft capabilities in NATO’s inventory today, company officials say. The F-16 has been flying since 1974.

The plane also has structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the aircraft. Included is an advanced data link, targeting pod, weapons, GPS navigation, and automatic ground collision avoidance system (Auto GCAS).

The F-16 Block 70 features technologies developed for the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor jet fighters in a low-risk solution for allied and NATO defense needs, Lockheed Martin officials say. More than 700 F-16s are flying in Europe.

On this contract Lockheed Martin will do the work in Greenville, S.C., and Fort Worth, Texas, and should be finished by December 2026. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Aeronautics online at www.lockheedmartin.com, or the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at www.aflcmc.af.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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