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11:53 AM, January 24, 2014
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Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems are hoping to secure the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) F-16 Fighting Falcon fleet upgrade contract.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had announced last week the potential foreign military sales (FMS) for upgrading Singapore's 60 F-16C/D/D+ aircraft for an estimated $2.4 billion.

F-16 manufacturer Lockheed is hoping to win the contract in the wake of reductions in US and European military spending, according to Reuters.

However, BAE is pressing for an open competition, stressing that it can modernize the existing F-16 fighters for less cost, even though the DSCA did not disclose whether there would be an open competition or a sole source award in its notification.

BAE spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying that the company is very interested in the programme and would prefer an open competition.

"We want to be considered as a competitor for Singapore's F-16 upgrade programme and look forward to further discussions with them to support and deliver F-16 upgrade solutions tailored to their requirements," the BAE spokesperson said.

In 2013, BAE systems had won a $1 billion contract to upgrade more than 130 South Korean F-16 fighter aircraft.

As part of the upgrade, the aircraft will be equipped with advanced radar systems, new GPS equipment, friend-or-foe identification systems and an array of newer weapons, including laser-guided bombs.

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