Defense prime Lockheed Martin Corp's Aeronautics business division has bagged a foreign military sales (FMS) contract for upgrading Korean F-16 fighter jets.
The deal, a sole-source acquisition is valued at $1.2 billion.
The contract was awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Oklahama. Work related to this deal would be done at Fort Worth, Texas, and is scheduled to be completed by 15 November, 2025.
The F-16 became part of Lockheed Martin after its acquisition of General Dynamics Corp's aircraft manufacturing business. The combat-proven F-16 falcon is a multi-role fighter jet, in service across 28 nations. As an F-16 Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Lockheed Martin has the capabilities to design, engineer, develop, integrate and sustain complete F-16 weapons systems to meet customer requirements.
The F-16 falcon has, over the decades evolved from a day-only lightweight jet to an all-weather multi-role fighter. The latest and most advanced version – F-16V – is the 4th generation of the F-16 fleet and scores over the earlier F-16 models due to its advanced APG-83 AESA radar.
According to Lockheed, the upgrades would include an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a large-format, high-resolution centre pedestal display and a high-volume and high-speed data bus.
''We truly appreciate the trust and confidence the Republic of Korea has placed in us with this contract,'' said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program, in a statement. ''These upgrades are a critical piece of South Korea's national defense and highlight Lockheed Martin's commitment to the full lifecycle of the F-16, from production to through-life sustainment.''