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Thailand looks to upgrade F-16s

September 30, 2010 (by Asif Shamim) - The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress September 29 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Thailand of a three-phased program to upgrade 18 F-16A/B block 15 aircraft with the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) and associated parts, equipment, and logistical support.

RTAF F-16A and B block 15 two-ship formation with #40311 in the foreground. Note that mostly the Thai vipers don't wear any ordnance [DO-RTAF photo]

The complete package is estimated to be worth approximately $700 million.

The Government of Thailand has requested a possible sale of a three-phased program to upgrade 18 F-16A/B block 15 aircraft with the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU). Each phase will upgrade six aircraft over a three-year period, with each phase overlapping by one year.

The MLU with Modular Mission Computer includes APG-68(V)9 Radar, APX-113 Combined Interrogator and Transponder, ALQ-213 Electronic Warfare Management System, ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System, spare and repair parts, tools and support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and technical support services, and other related elements of logistics support.

Thailand needs this MLU program in order to upgrade its aging F-16 fleet and to increase air sovereignty fighter aircraft effectiveness and interoperability with U.S. forces. The proposed sale will enhance the Royal Thailand Air Force’s capability to conduct day, night, and adverse weather air defense operations.

Thailand, which already has F-16s in its inventory, will have no difficulty absorbing these upgrades into its armed forces.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, Texas.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Thailand.

Courtesy of Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)

Additional images:

RTAF F-16A block 15 #10311 from 103 sqn is flying together with F-16A ADF #10204 from 102 sqn and F-16A block 15 #40315 from 403 sqn in a 3 squadron formation. [RTAF photo]