Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] 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). 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’s F-16s.
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.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.