October 22, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin received a $87 million contract to support upgrades to 17 F-16 A/Bs of the Royal Jordanian Air Force. The main upgrade is the F16 A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU), essentially the same as being performed on 400 F-16s operated by the five European Participating Air Forces (EPAF).
RJAF F-16A ADF, #229, over desert terrain.
This modification consists of enhancements to the cockpit, avionics, sensors and weapons. These upgrades also improve system reliability and supportability.
In addition, future software upgrades will be available through the common M-series F-16 software upgrade program being implemented by the U.S. Air Force and the EPAF
"This will be a low-risk, cost-effective modification for Jordan
's F-16s," said David T. Wesolka, Lockheed Martin's director of F-16 Sustainment Product Group. "No development is required, and they will be upgrading their jets to the same state-of-the-art capability as the five EPAF partners are implementing currently. Plus, they will benefit from the advantages of interoperability with other users of modern F-16s and be able to share in future software updates in a very cost-effective manner."
The 17 aircraft to be modified are USAF block 15
F-16A/Bs with the Air Defense Fighter modification provided to Jordan under the Peace Falcon II Foreign Military Sales program. Some were flown to Jordan in 2003 and the rest are in storage in the United States. These aircraft are in addition to the 16 F-16A/Bs received by Jordan in 1997-98 in the Peace Falcon I program.
The upgrade package also includes Falcon UP and Falcon STAR structural upgrades. The structural upgrades will extend the service life to 8,000 flight hours under demanding usage criteria. With typical flight rates, these aircraft could remain in service for another 20 years.
The letter of offer and acceptance (LoA
) for this Foreign Military Sales upgrade program was signed in January of this year and long-lead effort began in February. Modification kits will be delivered from the spring of 2006 through the spring of 2008. All aircraft will be modified between mid- 2006 and mid-2009. A brief flight test program will be conducted in late summer 2006.
The contract was awarded Sept. 30. It covers kits, installation instructions, training, and normal spares and support after the aircraft have been modified. The kit components will be produced in the United States and Europe. The aircraft modifications will be performed at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) facilities in Ankara, Turkey
, and at a base to be named in Jordan.