The State Department has approved a potential $1.7 billion deal with Bulgaria for eight F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft, officials announced Monday evening.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress on May 30 of the foreign military sale for the Lockheed Martin

[LMT]-built aircraft.

An F-16C Fighting Falcon releases an AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) over the Utah Test and Training Range. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

“These aircraft will provide Bulgaria with a fleet of modernized multi-role combat aircraft, ensuring that Bulgaria can effectively operate in hazardous areas and enhancing the Bulgarian Air Force’s interoperability with U.S. as well as NATO forces,” DSCA officials said in a statement. “Bulgaria currently relies on the United States and the United Kingdom to participate in joint air policing.  By acquiring these F-16s and the associated sustainment and training package, Bulgaria will be able to provide for the defense of its own airspace and borders.”

Lockheed Martin [LMT] builds the F-16.

Under the deal, Bulgaria would also receive 16 AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, 24 AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles, 48 LAU-129 Multi-Purpose Launchers, and nine Vulcan 20mm cannons.

The sale also includes engines, display generator, Active Electronically Scanned Array radars, targeting pods and modular mission computers.