ATHENS ($1=0.99 Euros) — Greece received its first two F-16 Block 52+ fighter jets upgraded to F-16 Block 70 standard. The information was officially reported by the Greek media, citing the country’s defense minister. A total of 34 fighter jets are expected to receive the same upgrade at a total cost of $2.4 billion.
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The first two fighters were upgraded by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry [EAB] under the supervision and assistance of Lockheed Martin. Two Greek fighters have already been returned to the inventory of the Greek Air Force.
The modernization contract was signed in 2017 between the government in Athens and Lockheed Martin. The entire modernization of all 34 fighters should be completed in 2027, but this period may be shortened.
Modernization of the Greek F-16
Jets undergoing the F-16 Block 70/72 upgrade are generally classified as Generation 4++ as they undergo hardware and structural improvements over other F-16s. The most important step in Viper’s upgrade is replacing the existing radar system with an APG-83 active phased array [AESA] radar from Northrop Grumman.
The ntegration of the APG-83 radar provides better situational awareness of the F-16 fighter. With the integration of the Link-16 data link system, the Hellenic Air Force’s F-16s will be brought into modern data links for the first time. With Link-16, Greek F-16s will be able to better communicate with EMB-145H Erieye AEW aircraft.
Additionally, the F-16 Block 70/72 features a 6” x 8” CPD [High Definition Display], an Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System [GCAS], and more technological weapon stations that allow for more effective use of radar AESA and capsule data control.
New weapons, too
In addition, new ammunition and missile systems, especially the AGM-88E, were integrated into the aircraft. New generation electronic warfare equipment and IRST pod and new target pods are available on the aircraft.
Parts of the Block 50/52+ aircraft to be upgraded will be installed on 38 Block 50/52 aircraft and the aircraft will be upgraded to Block 50/52+. 30 Sniper ATP Targeting Pods will be purchased for the upgraded aircraft.
On the other hand, Greece ordered the AGM-88 anti-radiation missile and the Harpoon anti-ship missile for the upgraded F-16s.
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