Lockheed Martin awarded US$ 177 million contract to upgrade Chilean Air Force’s F-16 fighters

Agreement was closed through the Foreign Military Sales program and should be completed by November 2032

The Chilean Air Force (FAC) will upgrade its F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets, the US Department of Defense revealed in a short statement on October 31.

To carry out the update, called M6.6 Operational Flight Program and Systems Upgrade, the aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, was chosen.

The contract, made through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, is worth US$ 177 million and will be implemented by November 2032.

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The work will be carried out at two Lockheed units in Fort Worth, Texas, and Greenville, South Carolina, and also in Chile.

It was not clarified what type of upgrade the fighters will receive or even whether all 46 jets are included in the program.

Chilean Air Force F-16 fighters (FAB)

Chile selected the F-16C/D in 2002 after a competition in which the F/A-18 Hornet, the Mirage 2000-5 and the Gripen participated.

The Air Force acquired ten fighters that were reinforced by 18 second-hand F-16A/Bs passed on by the Netherlands in 2005. Three years later, a new batch of 18 fighters updated after the MLU M4 program were incorporated into the fleet.

The new upgrade program comes shortly after the US government authorized the sale of 24 F-16 fighters from Denmark to Argentina, which since 2015 has been trying to find a replacement for the already retired Mirage IIIs.