Royal Bahraini Air Force to receive first F-16 Block 70
Lockheed Martin received a U$1.2 billion contract from the US government to produce 16 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft for the Royal Bahraini Air Force. The Undefinitised Contract Action award represents the first F-16 Block 70 sale and the first F-16 production programme to be performed in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is the first customer to procure the F-16 Block 70, the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration.
“We value our long-standing relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and look forward to beginning production activities on their first Block 70 aircraft at our facility in Greenville,” said Susan Ouzts, Vice President of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Program. “This sale highlights the significant, growing demand we see for new production F-16s around the globe.”
Lockheed Martin expects F-16 production to create between 150 and 200 new jobs in Greenville. F-16 production also supports hundreds of US-based Lockheed Martin engineering, procurement, sustainment and customer support jobs and thousands of US supplier jobs. The F-16 supply chain is currently supported by 450 US suppliers in 42 states.
The F-16 Block 70 combines capability upgrades, most notably the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with a new avionics architecture, and structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the aircraft by more than 50 percent beyond that of previous production F-16 aircraft.
F-16 Block 70 software takes advantage of technologies not available when earlier Block F-16s were developed and produced. Operational capabilities are enhanced through an advanced datalink, targeting pod and weapons; precision GPS navigation and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).