DoD awards Lockheed Martin Slovak F-16V fighter contract

31 July 2019

An artist’s illustration of the Lockheed Martin F-16V Block 70 combat aircraft as it will appear in Bahraini service. Slovakia is to acquire 14 such aircraft, including a pair of twin-seat trainers, to be delivered by early 2024. Source: Lockheed Martin

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Lockheed Martin USD799.9 million to build 14 F-16V Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft for Slovakia.

The award, which was announced by the DoD on 31 July, came seven months after Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini announced that his government had signed a EUR1.6 billion (USD1.78 billion) procurement contract for the aircraft, training, and weapons.

According to the DoD contract notification, work will be complete by 31 January 2024.

Although not specified in the DoD announcement, Slovakia is to receive 12 single-seat and two twin-seat aircraft, as well as Raytheon AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. To date, no air-to-surface weaponry has been announced.

As previously reported by Jane's , the Eastern European country will take delivery of the first four aircraft in 2022, two of which will be two-seater variants and the remaining 10 single-seater aircraft in the beginning of 2024.

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.

Slovakia has selected the latest version of the F-16 to replace its fleet of 12 Russian-built MiG-29 'Fulcrum' aircraft that are becoming obsolete (only two or three aircraft are airworthy at any one time). Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources said it will extend the service-life contract of the MiG-29 fleet until all the F-16s have been received.

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