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October 01, 2012

$1.85 billion contract awarded to Lockheed to upgrade Taiwan's F-16s

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract worth up to $1.85 billion to upgrade Taiwan's (Republic of China) 145 Block 20 F-16A/B aircraft.

The contract was awarded by the U.S. government under foreign arms sales laws.

The contract calls for Lockheed to upgrade Taiwan's F-16s to the recently announced V-version, which will include addition of the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, embedded global positioning, as well as upgrades to the electronic warfare and other avionics systems.

“Based on elements of the F-16V configuration, Taiwan’s air force will receive the most advanced F-16 upgrades," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group.

The new technologies, especially the radar, will provide the F-16s with some of the capabilities planned for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Engineering and technical work for the upgrade program will be performed in Fort Worth, as will upgrades of the first few airplanes before the work is transitioned to Taiwan.

The U.S. Air Force has already said it plans to contract with Lockheed to upgrade at least 300 of its F-16s to the V-designation over the next few years to preserve their combat capability over the next 15-20 years.

-Bob Cox


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Good thing, 'cause they're gonna need 'em!

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