Lockheed Martin to take over South Korea's F-16 Upgrade Program

Published By : 18 Nov 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

South Korean officials will soon be approving the plan that will pave the way for Lockheed Martin to take over the F-16 upgrade program. A spokesperson from the Defense Acquisition Program Administration stated that a decision making council will soon be scheduled by November 19th in order to approve this plan of changing the KF-16 partner company which will entail the cancellation of the BAE Systems contract worth US$ 1.7 billion with a view to providing the 134 KF-16 fighter aircrafts new radar systems and avionics. 

The new partner company will most probably be Lockheed which is actually the original manufacturer of jets which have been at in the background from the time of the issues between the BAE and DAPA emerged in the month of October.

Two KF-16 C/D Block 52 jets have already been dispatched to the BAE facility situated in Fort Worth, Texas so that they can be updated with mission computers, avionics systems, and cockpit displays. The second phase of the updates will include the integration of weapon systems, Raytheon active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, and ALR-69A all-digital radar warning receiver.

The Lockheed contract may fulfill similar needs but may just about swap out AESA of Raytheon for the Northrop Grumman’s model. Northrop has been selected by Lockheed for providing radars in the contract to refurbish Taiwan’s F-16 fleet. 

South Korean military officials have stated that the government of the US has injected close to US$ 470 million and BAE almost US$ 280 million in costs that do not form a part of the original agreement. BAE has been held responsible by South Korea’s DAPA. BAE however, has clearly expressed that it had no role in the cost increases, thereby blaming the US government indirectly. 
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