Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has been awarded a contract, worth around $800 million, for the production and support of 14 F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft destined for Slovak Air Force.
The firm-fixed-price incentive contract was awarded by the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio as the sale of the aircraft is through U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.
The production of the Slovak F-16 Block 70s will be performed at Greenville, South Carolina, and is expected to be completed by Jan. 31, 2024.
The sale of F-16 Block 70/72 V configuration fighter aircraft to Slovakia was approved by the U.S. State Department in April last year. In July the same year, it was announced that the country has selected F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft for its fighter jet replacement program. The Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs) and Framework Agreement for the procurement was signed in December.
According to earlier reports, the Slovak Air Force will take delivery of its first F-16 in the fourth quarter of 2022, with the last aircraft to be delivered by the end of 2023. Of the 14 aircraft, 12 jets will be one-seaters and 2 jets will be two-seat trainers.
The F-16 Block 70 is the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, combining numerous capability and structural upgrades.
The F-16 Block 70 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar (Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar, SABR), a modernized cockpit, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks (CFT), an automatic ground collision avoidance system (Auto GCAS), an advanced engine and an industry-leading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours.