Belgium requests US for F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft mid life upgrade
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of F-16A/B Block 15 aircraft mid life upgrade (MLU) aircraft and associated equipment to Belgium.
Under the estimated $113m sale, Belgium has requested the US for the supply of S1, M5 and M6 operational flight program (OFP) in support of its F-16A/B Block 15 MLU programme.
The upgrade package includes 69 LN-260 embedded global positioning system-inertial navigation systems (GPS-INS), eight remote operated video enhanced receivers IV (ROVER IV), 62 AN/APX-125 transceivers, including AN/APX-125 air identification friend-or-foe radios, 32 KIV-78s, one joint mission planning system (JMPS), four BRU-61/A carriage systems, and 43 AN/ARC-210(V) RT-1990(C) ultra high frequency/very high frequency (UHF/VHF) receiver transmitters.
Additional supplies include spare and repair parts, support equipment, repair and return services, software development/ integration, test and equipment, personnel training and training equipment, and other related elements of logistics and programme support.
Approved by the US State Department, the potential sale is expected to support the Belgian Air Force's (BAF) efforts to equip, upgrade and use its F-16A/B MLU aircraft.
Specifically, the equipment and support for Belgian F-16s is anticipated to support its self-defence requirements and boost the fighter's interoperability with those of the US and other Nato countries.
In addition to this, the FMS directly contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by helping to enhance the security of a Nato ally.
Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control has been named as the prime contractor for the FMS programme.
Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 turbofan engines, the F-16 A/B is an initial production variant of the F-16 multirole jet fighter, featuring AIM-7M Sparrow, AIM-9M and P4 Sidewinder, AGM-65 Maverick missiles and Westinghouse AN/APG-66(V)3 fire-control radars.
Image: A Belgian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon conducts a combat patrol over Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of USAF by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon/Released.