Contract Let for Taiwanese F-16 Upgrade

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a foreign military sales contract valued at up to $1.85 billion towards the upgrade of 145 F-16A/B Block 20 aircraft for the Taiwanese air force. Lockheed Martin announced the deal on Oct. 1, but it initially appeared in the Defense Department’s Sept. 28 list of major contracts. “Lockheed Martin looks forward to a continued partnership with the Republic of China in upgrading their F-16s,” said Jeff Babione, general manager of the company’s F-16/F-22 integrated fighter group, in the company’s release. The retrofit is based on the F-16V configuration that Lockheed Martin unveiled earlier this year. The Taiwanese fighters will get an active electronically scanned array radar, embedded global positioning, and receive upgrades to their avionics, including their electronic warfare suite, according to the company. Work under this contract is expected to be completed in September 2022, according to the Air Force. The Pentagon formally announced the FMS upgrade project in September 2011. It has a total potential value of some $5.3 billion. In July, Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with the Taiwanese government-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation to cooperative on the upgrade.