October 1, 2012 (by Laura Siebert) - Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract valued up to $1.85 billion by the U.S. Government to initiate the upgrade of 145 block 20 F-16A/B aircraft for the Republic of China (RoC).
RoCAF vipers are flying by the camera at Sungshan AFB on September 2nd, 2007. [Photo by Martin Fenner]
This retrofit program will include the addition of an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA
) radar, embedded global positioning, as well as upgrades to the electronic warfare and other avionics systems of Taiwan
Lockheed Martin has a proven track record of upgrading more than 1,000 existing F-16s for a combination of the U.S. Air Force and international customers. Most recently, Lockheed Martin was named the prime integrator to upgrade the USAF F-16 fleet. Both new upgrade programs will be based on the F-16V configuration announced by Lockheed Martin earlier this year.
"Lockheed Martin looks forward to a continued partnership with the Republic of China
in upgrading their F-16s," said Jeff Babione, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group. "Based on elements of the F-16V configuration, Taiwan's air force will receive the most advanced F-16 upgrades. This program reinforces the strong value proposition associated with commonality between the USAF F-16 program and the worldwide F-16 user community."
The F-16 is the choice of 26 nations. More than 4,500 aircraft have been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries. The F-16 program has been characterized by unprecedented international cooperation among governments, air forces and aerospace industries. Major upgrades to all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft’s long service life.