Lockheed Martin To Build F-16s For Bulgaria
US Awards Multi-Million Dollar Contract
The US Department of Defense has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth $151 million to produce eight F-16 Block 70 fighters for Bulgaria. The project is set to be completed by January 31, 2027. The work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as at Lockheed's new F-16 line in Greenville, South Carolina.
The contract comes after Bulgaria approved the deal in July 2019. As part of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package, Bulgaria will receive six single-seat aircraft and a pair of two-seat aircraft.
This purchase marks Bulgaria's largest military procurement since the fall of Communism. The F-16 fighters will replace the country's aging fleet of RAC MiG-29s, which were delivered in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The original FMS deal, totaling $1.67 billion, was announced in June 2019. In addition to the eight fighters, the deal includes a wide range of sensors, weapons, training devices, software, training, support, and spare parts.
Lockheed Martin's F-16 Block 70 is a highly advanced variant of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-role fighter aircraft. It incorporates a range of advanced technologies, including an active electronically scanned array radar, advanced avionics, and a state-of-the-art communications suite.
By acquiring these advanced F-16 fighters, Bulgaria aims to bolster its defense capabilities and strengthen its air force. The modernization of its fleet will enhance the country's ability to meet its NATO obligations and defend its sovereignty.
Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company known for its advanced technology systems and products. With this contract, the company further solidifies its position as a leading provider of advanced fighter aircraft.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is one of the most successful combat aircraft in the world, with more than 4,500 aircraft delivered to numerous countries. It has been in service with the US Air Force and other air forces for over four decades.
The new F-16 Block 70 fighters will provide Bulgaria with increased situational awareness, greater mission flexibility, and enhanced lethality. The aircraft's advanced capabilities will allow Bulgarian pilots to effectively respond to a wide range of threats and challenges.
Overall, this contract award highlights the close defense cooperation between the United States and Bulgaria. It underscores the commitment of both countries to ensure the security and defense of the NATO alliance, as well as the broader regional stability in Europe.
With the contract now in place, Lockheed Martin will begin production of the F-16 Block 70 fighters, further strengthening Bulgaria's defense capabilities and positioning the country as a key player in regional security.