Jordan's F-16s to Receive Mid-Life Update Upgrade Kits


Released on Thursday, October 21, 2004
Israel
Jordan
United States of America
AIM-120C AMRAAM
F-16A Fighting Falcon
F-16B Fighting Falcon
AMRAAM - Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile
EPAF - European Participating Air Forces
FMS - Foreign Military Sale
LOA - Letter of Agreement
MLU - Mid Life Update
RJAF - Royal Jordanian Air Force
Lockheed-Martin has been awarded a $87 million contract for the supply of upgrade kits to a squadron of 17 F-16A/B aircraft recently transferred to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) from the United States.

The upgrade kits contract is valued at $87 million and will add modern warfare capabilities to the F-16A/Bs currently operated by Jordan. Basically, these upgrade kits will add the Mid Life Update (MLU) program capabilities previously performed on the F-16A/Bs operated by five European Air Forces known as EPAF and totaling around 400 aircraft.

The MLU upgrade kit provides enhancements to the cockpit, avionics, sensors and weapons. The modernization kit also improves the whole system reliability and supportability. Moreover, thanks to this upgrade kit future software upgrades will be available through the common M-series F-16 software upgrades program being implemented by the US Air Force and EPAF countries. This effort will boost RJAF interoperability with other users of modern F-16s.

Between 1997 and 1998 Jordan received its first 16 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon aircraft under Peace Falcon I program. The 17 aircraft to be modified are ex-USAF Block 15 F-16A/B Air Defense Fighters (ADFs) with eight aircraft delivered in 2003 under Peace Falcon II program. The other nine aircraft are in storage in the United States.

The upgrade kit also includes Falcon UP and Falcon STAR structural upgrades, which will extend the airframe service life up to 8,000 flight hours. With typical flight rates, these aircraft could remain in service until 2025-2030.

The Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for this Foreign Military Sale (FMS) upgrade program was signed in January this year. Modification kits deliveries will begin in the spring of 2006 and will continue through the spring of 2008. Modification work will be carried out from mid-2006 through mid-2009. A brief flight test program will be conducted in late summer 2006 to demonstrate upgraded F-16s work as planned.

The contract was officially awarded to Lockheed-Martin September 30. Kits components will be produced in the United States and Europe, while installation will be performed at TAI facilities in Ankara, Turkey, and a base to be named in Jordan.

On this issue, Israel has expressed major concerns to the United States about the sale of F-16 aircraft and possible related items such as the AMRAAM missile to Jordan that eventually could pose a threat.

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