South Korea has officially confirmed Lockheed Martin as the lead contractor for its $1.5 billion upgrade of its KF-16 fighter jets.
Lockheed Martin will upgrade the warfare capabilities of the Korean Air Force’s 134 KF-16s fleet. Lockheed replaces BAE systems after BAE demanded additional money for the aviation electronics upgrade of the aircraft. BAE had won the contract in 2012.
"As a manufacturer of the platform of the KF-16, Lockheed Martin also has capabilities in the upgrading segment," Kim Si-cheol, spokesman of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), was quoted as announcing the result of a defense project committee meeting by Yonhap news agency Wednesday.
Lockheed Martin also met South Korea's financial requirements, he added.
As part of the upgrade project, the Defense Ministry's committee also picked Northrop Grumman to manufacture active electronically scanned radar (AESA) that can be integrated into the KF-16 fleet.
Northrop Grumman replaced the previous contractor, Raytheon Company.