FORT WORTH, Texas, June 26 (UPI) -- BAE Systems reports that two South Korean F-16 fighters are now at a company facility in Texas for major upgrades.
The upgrades are being performed under a Foreign Military Sales contract and are the first major modernization of 4th-generation U.S.-made fighter by a non-original equipment manufacturer.
Under the upgrade program, which will involve South Korea's entire F-16 fleet, BAE Systems will equip the Lockheed Martin aircraft with advanced weapons and next-generation avionics, including advanced mission computers, new cockpit displays, and advanced radars and targeting sensors.
"The arrival of the jets is a major milestone for our entire team and a historic occasion for both our company and the industry," said John Bean, vice president and general manager of Global Fighter Programs at BAE Systems. "Our long-term goal is to offer future customers sophisticated aircraft upgrades with an innovative systems integration approach, providing cost-effective solutions to meet each customer's unique requirements while reducing their long-term sustainment costs."
BAE Systems said modernization work will primarily be performed at its facility in Fort Worth, Texas, but sites elsewhere in the country will also be involved. No timeline for completion of the upgrades to the two aircraft was given but the entire fleet modernization would take several years.