​Lockheed Awarded $1.2 Billion For Korean F-16 Upgrades

Photo: BAE Systems

After a lengthy negotiating process, the South Korean government awarded a $1.2 billion contract to upgrade 134 Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds to the F-16V standard.

The award comes more 16 months after the US State Department cleared South Korea to purchase the upgrade package, which includes the Northrop Grumman APG-81 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR), new modular mission computers, upgraded electronic warfare suites and second generation joint helmet mounted cueing systems.

The finalized deal comes as a coup for Lockheed, which snatched the contract last year from BAE Systems and radar supplier, Raytheon, following a cost dispute. In 2012, BAE won the upgrade contract over original F-16 manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

But BAE’s true costs surprised Seoul, when the US government demanded an additional W500 billion ($473 million) and BAE asked for W300 billion.

Lockheed will upgrade one single-seat C-model and one twin-seat D model KF-16 to the latest version configuration, the F-16V, before moving onto the remaining 132 aircraft, FlightGlobal previously reported.

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Those two fighters were delivered to the US after BAE’s selection fell through.

Source: flightglobal.com