Lockheed Martin begins production of new Bulgarian F-16V Vipers for $ 512m

The US government has validated the sale of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets destined for Bulgaria. The sale will thus be carried out in the form of an FMS (Foreign Military Sales) contract: Lockheed Martin officially sells the aircraft to the USAF, which is then responsible for returning them to Bulgaria. FMS contracts thus make it possible to speed up transactions and sell aircraft at a better price, while ensuring a certain standardization of allied equipment.

Indeed, the Block70 standard corresponds to the trade designation F-16V Viper. This new variant of the F-16 has already been sold in Europe to Slovakia and Greece, and Lockheed Martin still hopes to sell some planes to other Eastern European countries that cannot afford its F-35. Technically, the F-16V Block 70 is an improved version of the F-16C Block 50/52, with a radar equipped with an AESA antenna and a more modern cockpit.

Greece should modernize the majority of its current F-16 to the Block 70 Viper standard. Beyond Europe, the F-16V has also been sold in Bahrain, Taiwan, South Korea and Morocco, and is of great interest to Indonesia.

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