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