The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale (FMS) to the Republic of Korea for $194m to upgrade its F-16 Block 32 aircraft and its associated equipment.

The upgrade will involve F-16 aircraft with Mode 5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), Link 16 Tactical Datalink (TDL) and related equipment.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of this possible sale.

Lockheed Martin Corporation is the prime contractor for the sale.

Other related equipment includes ARC-238 radios, AN/APX-126 Combined Interrogator Transponders, Joint Mission Planning (JMPS) upgrade, KY-58M secure voice module, Simple Key Loader (SKL) crypto fill devices and Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL), as well as aircraft ferry support and training.

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Additionally, the deal includes Computer Program Identification Number System (CPINS), flight manuals and tests, integration support, test equipment, engineering, technical and logistics support services, as well as sustainment and other support equipment.

The proposed sale is expected to improve the capability of the Republic of Korea to meet existing and future threats by increasing its interoperability with US Air Force and other coalition forces.

This is possible through an improved datalink and Mode 5 IFF, producing an effective Alliance for its F-16 fleet.

It is also expected to support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by meeting legitimate security and defence needs of one of the country’s allies in the INDOPACOM Theater.

The Republic of Korea is one of the key partners of the US in ensuring peace and stability in East Asia and the Western Pacific.

The Armed Forces of Republic of Korea will have no difficulty absorbing this upgrade.