ATHENS, (BM) – Following recent publications in Greek media about the problems and delays of the F-16 modernization program, the Greek Air Force General Staff issued a statement stating the following:
- The F-16 aircraft modernization program provides for their reduction to the F-16V Viper configuration and will take about 8 years. Modernization work will be carried out by Hellenic Aerospace Industry. The latest aircraft will be received in 2027.
- Work on the first F-16 aircraft began in January 2020 at Hellenic Aerospace Industry facilities and continues as scheduled.
According to the Greek newspaper Greek City News, the modernization of the F-16 is part of a larger Greek Air Force upgrade program, which will also include the acquisition of new aircraft.
In January 2020, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panayotopoulos announced that Greece plans to purchase 24 F-35 fighter jets with a total value of $ 3 billion, upgrade 82 F-16 fighter jets and acquire warships. The statement was made after the official visit of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the United States.
As TsAMTO reported, in April 2018, the Greek government formally approved an agreement with the United States on modernizing up to 85 of the 154 existing F-16 fighters of the country’s air force, whose total cost is estimated at 1.2 billion euros (1.45 billion dollars).
The program will expand combat capabilities and extend the life of the 54 F-16C / D Block 52+ purchased under the Peace Xenia III program and 30 F-16C / D Block 52 + Advanced purchased under Peace Xenia IV until 2048 . As reported, the first aircraft will be modernized by Lockheed Martin in the United States, and the main part – at the facilities of Hellenic Aircraft Industry (HAI) in Greece.
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