A USD1.12 billion contract for F-16V Fighting Falcon combat aircraft for Bahrain was awarded to Lockheed Martin on 22 June. The fixed-price-incentive-firm deal for 16 F-16V aircraft will run through to 30 September 2023.
The contract comes some nine months after the US State Department approved in September 2017 the sale to Bahrain of 19 new F-16Vs, and upgrades to its existing 20 F-16C/D Block 40 aircraft to bring them up to the same configuration. A contract for an undisclosed quantity of GE F110-GE-129 engines related to the wider F-16V procurement was award in November 2017.
Also referred to as the F-16 Block 70/72, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80 and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar [SABR]), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground-collision avoidance system. Bahrain is the launch customer for this latest standard of F-16.
In terms of the Bahraini procurement, the proposed deal includes ancillary equipment, training, and support. The contract to modernise the existing aircraft includes a simulator, ancillary equipment, training, support, targeting pods, and limited quantities of air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons.
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