Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a not-to-exceed $151,360,000 fixed-price-incentive (firm-target) contract for Bulgaria F-16 Block 70 production. The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bulgaria of F-16 C/D Block 70 Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $1.673 billion. This contract provides for the production of eight F-16 Block 70 aircraft. Work will be performed at Fort Worth, Texas; and Greenville, South Carolina, and is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2027. This contract involves Foreign Military Sales to the Republic of Bulgaria. This contract was a sole-source acquisition. Foreign Military Sales funds in the amount $68,072,000 are being obligated at time of award. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.
In the course of 2005 the Bulgarian government has been searching desperately for new fighter aircraft to replace their aging Mig-21/23 fleet. Both options of new and second-hand aircraft have been discussed. Lockheed-Martin has offered brandnew F-16C/D block 50’s while informative talks with the Belgian government to purchase second-hand F-16’s with the MLU upgrade also took place. No more information is available at this moment. In 2019 the Bulgarian government ultimately signed a country for the delivery of 8 new-built F-16C/D block 70 fighters.Since the country is becoming a full Viper member a country profile will be forthcoming. On 20 August 2021, the Bulgarian Defence Minister told in a parliamentary hearing that Bulgaria released a Letter of Request (LOR) for a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA) for a second batch of 8 F-16 block 70’s. The request also included air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons packages, as well as logistics, training, and aircraft maintenance equipment.
The Government of Bulgaria has requested to buy 4 F-16 C Block 70 aircraft; 4 F-16 D Block 70 aircraft; 11 F100-GE-129D engines; 11 Improved Programmable Display Generators; 11 AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Scalable Agile Beam Radars (SABR); 11 Modular Mission Computers (MMC) 7000AH; 11 LN-260 or equivalent Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS) Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) (EGI) with Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) and Precise Positioning Service (PPS); 19 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) AIM-120C-7/C-8 or equivalent missiles; 2 AMRAAM Guidance Sections; 48 LAU-129A launchers; 28 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDBs); 2 SDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs); 11 M61A1 Vulcan Cannons; 4 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods (ATPs); 12 Multifunctional Information Distribution System with Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS-JTRS); 20 AIM-9X Block II missiles; 8 AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); 4 AIM-9X Block II Tactical Guidance Units; 4 AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units; 24 FMU-139 or FMU-152 fuze systems; 12 KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tail Kits for 500LB GBU-38 or Laser JDAM GBU-54; 12 MXU-650 Air Foil Groups (AFGs) for Enhanced Paveway II EGBU-49; 12 MAU-210 Enhanced Computer Control Groups (ECCGs) for EPII EGBU-49; twenty-four (24) MK-82 or BLU-111 or equivalent Bomb Bodies; 6 MK-82 Inert Bombs; and 2 GBU-39 SDB I Practice Bombs.
The latest and most advanced variant of the F-16 to date, the Block 70/72, completed its maiden flight earlier this year at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville facility in South Carolina. The Block 70/72 features advanced avionics, a proven Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modernized cockpit with new safety features, advanced weapons, conformal fuel tanks, an improved performance engine, and an industryleading extended structural service life of 12,000 hours. Operational capabilities are enhanced through an advanced datalink, targeting pod and weapons, Infrared Search and Track (IRST); precision GPS navigation and advanced Common Digital Flight Control Computer with an enhanced Autopilot/ Auto Throttle with life-saving Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).