Published : 2013-12-24 20:22
Updated : 2013-12-24 20:22
South Korea has finalized a deal with the U.S. government to have BAE Systems upgrade its aging fleet of more than 130 F-16 fighters to improve their electronic warfare capabilities, the state arms procurement agency said Tuesday.
Under the foreign military sales program, South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration and the U.S. Department of Defense signed a letter of agreement to upgrade 134 aircraft of the KF-16 variants C and D Block 52.
Defense contractor BAE Systems will upgrade the avionics system, communications display and cockpit interface, and provide logistical support and training, while Raytheon will provide an active electronically scanned array radar for the fleet.
The U.S. subsidiary of BAE said it would immediately begin the first phase of the work, which covers initial design and solution development. The second phase, set to begin next year, will complete the production and installation of the upgrade kits in all aircraft, the company said in a statement.
“This agreement marks a significant expansion of our F-16 modernization business, and we’re eager to get to work,” said Erin Moseley, president of BAE Systems’ support solutions sector.
BAE said it will hire about 300 employees to support the upgrade program in its main facilities in Texas and other company sites in Florida, New York, California and Virginia. (Yonhap News)