The Equipment and Capacity of the U.S. F-16 Block 70 Offered to Bulgaria
SOFIA, Bulgaria (BulgarianMilitary.com) – According to today’s press release of the global aerospace and defence company Lockheed Martin, the F-16 Block 70, selected by Bulgaria, features the most advanced fourth-generation technologies and capacity that are used in NATO member countries. The information states that the technology of this aircraft has been tested, proven, and it is already being used with the upgraded F-16s that fly in Southeast Asia, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The aircraft responds “perfectly” to the needs of the Bulgarian national defence and will ensure that the Air Force will operate the most modern fourth-generation fighter, and the Bulgarian economy and industry will benefit from the newly established long-term relationship with Lockheed Martin, as well.
The International Business Development Director for the F-16 Program at Lockheed Martin James Robinson said: “The name F-16 remains the same, but the latest generation Block 70 is a totally different fighter. It is part of a complete package of solutions that will provide Bulgaria with one of the most modern and reliable aircraft in NATO in Europe, equipped with advanced weapons that are included in our proposed price, it will ensure much more than just airspace security. “
F-16 Block 70 features the advanced AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar based on technology used in F-22 and F-35. The radar can track 20 targets simultaneously and has a range greater than 160 nautical miles against ground targets, which is significantly much more than the range of the other fourth-generation fighters.
In addition, the press release confirms the U.S. company commitment to an implementation of a program that will provide economic and industrial benefits to Bulgaria and states the importance of partnership, adding that Lockheed Martin will work with the U.S. and Bulgarian governments to identify cost-reduction opportunities for the F-16 Block 70, while the process of acquiring the fighters continues.
Robinson added that the F-16 Block 70 offer “includes a complete package of training for pilots and ground teams, logistics, auxiliary equipment and weapons for all operational needs, which means that there are absolutely no hidden costs. Bulgaria will not need to acquire any additional weapons via concluding separate contracts with third parties or government licenses required for the U.S. fighters’ integration and use, which result in additional costs and uncertainty for other offers. “
About 700 F-16 fighters are part of the air forces of 10 NATO member states in Europe. Last month, Greece confirmed that it will upgrade 84 of its earlier generation F-16 fighters to the V-configuration, which is similar to the new Block 70 chosen by Bulgaria.
The Lockheed Martin’s new plant in Greenville, South Carolina, the U.S., will soon begin the production of the F-16 Block 70 for Bahrain, Slovakia and Bulgaria. It is said to use the same equipment and the same base for deliveries that has manufactured thousands of F-16s in Fort Worth, Texas, thus eliminating the risks related to the production process of the new aircraft.
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Source: Lockheed Martin