April 15, 2005 (by Bjorn Claes) - Yesterday, April 14th, the first Chilean F-16 was rolled off the production line at the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth marking the start of production deliveries to the Latin American country.
Front view of the first Chilean F-16 to roll off the production line at Lockheed Martin. This happened on April 14th, 2005. [FACh
The deal for 10 F-16 (6 C-models and 4 D-models) was signed in 2002 in a $714 million contract that also included two KC-135 tanker aircraft. Chile
is to be the second Latin American country to receive the venerable fighter after Venezuela
, which received 18 A-models and 6 B-models in 1982.
The Chilean F-16s will be equipped with the Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)XM radar, General Electric F-110-GE
-129 engine and conformal fuel tanks. Included in the deal are also four Northrop Grumman LITENING II targeting pods and six each of ALQ-131 and ALQ-184 electronic warfare pods. The latest deal states that the aircraft will also be equipped with the Israeli Python 4 missiles and associated Helmet Mounted Cueing System.
Deliveries of the airframes to the Chilean Air Force is projected to start in the second half of 2005 and run till the end of 2006.