The Hellenic defense procurement agency (GDAEE) has officially signed a $270 million contract with Lockheed Martin for the upgrade of Hellenic Air Force F-16 fighter jets.
The contract was signed on December 24, after previously receiving a green light from the Greek parliament.
The Hellenic Air Force operates around 150 F-16 aircraft, some of which are 30 years old. Back in April 2018, the defense procurement agency announced it had signed a letter of intent with Lockheed Martin for the upgrade of 85 jets to the F-16V configuration.
The upgrade is expected to introduce capabilities comparable to the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning aircraft that is built by Lockheed Martin. The F-16V configuration introduces an active electronically scanned array radar (APG-83), a large-format, high-resolution display; and a high-volume, high-speed data bus.
Operational capabilities are enhanced through a Link-16 theater data dink, a sniper advanced targeting pod, precision GPS navigation, and the automatic ground collision avoidance system (Auto GCAS).
The contract will see Lockheed Martin work with Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industry to deliver the first upgraded aircraft as early as 2020. The entire upgrade program is expected to be completed by 2027.