Lockheed Martin has announced that it will launch the massive upgrade programme of 85 Greek F-16 fighter jets to the Block 70/72 Viper standard.
Speaking at a press conference in Thessaloniki during the presentation of Lockheed Martin at the Thessaloniki International Fair, the U.S. company executive explained the timetable of the upgrade and said: “a great part of the upgrade will take place in Greece.”
The upgrade of the 85 warplanes to Vipers “will provide the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force with an entirely new aircraft, as the only element we shall keep is the fuselage,” Plessas said. He said that the upgraded F-16s will keep the armaments balance in the region in light of Turkey’s orders for F-35s. However, he noted, the F-16 is not a stealth aircraft like the F-35.
Lockheed Martin’s partnership with Greece spans more than 70 years. Lockheed Martin has partnered with Greece on numerous military programs, including the F-16, C-130 and P-3, and remains committed to investing in Greece’s future.
Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16V upgrades will deliver a significant increase in capability for the HAF combat aircraft fleet at a fraction of the cost of procuring new aircraft, enabling the HAF to stay ahead of emerging threats. HAF F-16Vs will be the most advanced F-16s in Europe.
The F-16V upgrade is the next generation of technology insertion that leverages a common worldwide sustainment infrastructure which supports nearly 2,000 aircraft.
This new upgrade and production configuration will be the predominant configuration for the F-16 worldwide fleet. The new avionics configuration is the largest leap in F-16 combat capability and represents the most significant F-16 upgrade to date.
The Lockheed Martin F-16V configuration provides relevant combat capabilities in a scalable and affordable package with a high-volume, high-speed data bandwidth. The F-16V configuration is unique to Lockheed Martin, the F-16 original equipment manufacturer, which retains exclusive data rights, knowledge and expertise to affordably modernize the aircraft design.
The first two years will be spent on engineering for the prototype and the registration of the systems.
The F-16V upgrade for the HAF will be performed at Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI), bringing valuable jobs and investment to Greece.
Lockheed Martin highly values its enduring relationships with Greece and Greek industry and looks forward to strengthening existing partnerships and building new ones.