U.S. Green Lights F-16V Foreign Military Sale to Greece

 - October 26, 2017, 12:09 PM
An F-16 with the Hellenic Air Force Zeus demonstration team performs at RIAT 2015 in the UK. (Photo: Chris Pocock)

The U.S. State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) to Greece allowing the Hellenic Air Force to upgrade its F-16 fleet to the advanced F-16V configuration. Lockheed Martin is principal contractor for the estimated $2.4 billion transaction, which follows earlier F-16V sales to Taiwan and South Korea and a proposed sale to Bahrain.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the green-lighted sale to Greece on October 17. Greece “typically requests offsets,” and any such offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between Greece and Lockheed Martin, the agency advised.

Greece currently operates a mixed fleet of F-16 Block 30, Block 50, Block 52+ and Block 52+ Advanced fighters, according to the notice. The F-16V upgrade introduces Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar active electronically scanned array (AESA) fire-control radar; LN-260 embedded GPS/INS navigation system; Link 16 joint tactical radio systems; Elbit Systems of America center pedestal display; an upgraded modular mission computer; an Ethernet data bus and other enhancements.

The DSCA notice specifies up to 123 AESA radars (plus two spares) and similar quantities of other upgrade components. “Greece will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats, strengthen its homeland defense, and execute counter-terrorism operations,” the notice states.

The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.85 billion contract in late 2012 to begin the AESA retrofit and upgrade of 145 F-16A/B Block 20 fighters operated by the Republic of China Air Force of Taiwan. Last November, the service awarded the contractor a $1.2 billion contract to upgrade 134 South Korean F-16C/D fighters to the “V” configuration. And in September, the DSCA notified Congress of a possible sale of 19 new-build and 20 upgraded F-16Vs to Bahrain for an estimated $2.8 billion.