Greece has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to upgrade F-16 fighter to F-16V standard

The government of Greece has awarded a $280 million contract to American Company Lockheed Martin Corporation to upgrade its F-16 fighter jet fleet to the advanced-tech F-16V Viper class over the next seven years, according to local media. The Hellenic defense ministry procurement agency announced Friday, December 27, 2019, that the deal was signed Tuesday, December 24, 2019, finalizing details of Lockheed's use of a Greek subcontractor.

Greece has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to upgrade F 16 fighter to F 16V standard 925 001 A U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress is escorted by Hellenic Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons over the Mediterranean Sea in support of Bomber Task Force Europe 20-1, Nov. 1, 2019. (Picture source U.S. DoD)

Earlier this month, the Greek defense minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos has announced to the parliament that 84 F-16 fighter jets would be upgraded to the advanced-tech Viper class F-16V by 2027.

Currently, Greece operates a fleet of around 150 F-16s, some of them dating from 1989. In 2018, it was announced that Lockheed Martin has been contracted to upgrade 84 F-16C/D Block 52+ and Block 52+ Advanced (Block 52M) to the latest F-16V Block 70/72 (F-16 Viper) standard, bringing capabilities to the fleet only available in 5th generation fighters such as the F-35 Lightning II.

The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with beyond-visual-range (BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 were later C/D versions.

Thre F-16V Viper is the latest variant in the family of F-16 Fighting Falcon fourth generation fighter aircraft manufactured by the American Company Lockheed Martin. The F-16 Viper integrates advanced capabilities as part of an upgrade package to better interoperate with fifth-generation fighters, including the F-35 and the F-22.

F-16V’s advanced glass cockpit incorporates an upgraded mission computer and state-of-the-art avionics, including colour multi-function displays, a large high-resolution centre pedestal display (CPD), helmet-mounted cueing system, and a high-volume, high-speed data bus.

The CPD enhances situational awareness of the crew by supporting real-time processing and imaging of flight safety data. The F-16V is also equipped with an upgraded programmable displays generator, a Link-16 theatre data link, identification friend or foe (IFF) and HF/UHF/VHF radio communications.

The F-16V Viper can be armed with a range of air-to-air missiles (AAMs), including AIM-9 Sidewinder, Magic II and ASRAAM short-range AAMs, as well as AIM-7, Sky Flash, and AIM-120 medium-range AAMs.