Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 Multi-Role Fighter
Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 Multi-Role Fighter

Lockheed Martin Awarded $34 Million Contract for South Korea’s F-16 Service Life Extension Program

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded a $34,177,354 firm-fixed-price modification (P00031) to contract FA8615-17-C-6045 for the Service Life Extension Program for the Republic of Korea’s F-16 aircraft. Work will be performed in the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed Aug. 15, 2026. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales in the full amount will be obligated at the time of award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

The Republic of Korea Air Force operates a total of 180 F-16C/D aircraft, and was the second air force to fly the F-16C/D. In December of 1981, the Republic of Korea signed a letter of agreement for the purchase of 36 F-16C/D block 32 Fighting Falcons under the Peace Bridge I Foreign Military Sales program. South Korea has both block 30 and block 52 aircraft (locally designated KF-16) in its inventory, and is the 5th country with an F-16 production line. The South Korean Foreign Military Sales program is known as PEACE BRIDGE.

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Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 Multi-Role Fighter
Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 Multi-Role Fighter

In May 2009, South Korean government announced upgrade plan for its KF-16C/D fleet’s radar and armament. The ROKAF operates about 135 of the “KF-16” fighters, many of which were built in Korea under a $5.5 billion licensing agreement from 1994 to 2004. Key upgrades will include new radars to replace the existing APG-68v5/v7 systems, avionics and computers, and improving cabling and databuses to MIL-STD-1760 so that the aircraft will be able to carry GPS-guided weapons, AIM-9X Sidewider missiles, and other new equipment.

In March 2014, the South Korean Air Force revealed that it was considering leasing F-16s operated by the U.S. Air Force. ROKAF F-4 and F-5 fighters were intended to be replaced through the F-X III competition by 2016 and the development of the KF-X indigenous fighter, but F-X III deliveries were delayed until 2018 and the KF-X won’t enter service until 2023. With the aging fighters still needing to be retired, between 20 and 60 American F-16s are being reviewed for leasing to sustain aircraft numbers.

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