The U.S. State Department has approved the possible sale of $2.4 billion worth of F-16 fighter jet upgrades to Greece.
The Hellenic Air Force, which flies a mix of F-16s in the Block 30, Block 50, Block 52+ and Block 52+ Advanced configurations, would convert up to 123 aircraft to the F-16V configuration, the State Department said Oct. 17. Lockheed Martin [LMT], the F-16’s manufacturer, would be the prime contractor.
The conversion would add the APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; Link 16 data links; computer, display, navigation and self-protection improvements; advanced identification friend-or-foe systems, and other enhancements. The AESA radar, built by Northrop Grumman [NOC], first flew on an F-16 in 2015 and is designed to give pilots greater situational awareness.
The package also contains ground equipment, including a joint mission planning system, an F-16V simulator, upgrades to two existing simulators and an avionics test station.
The upgrades would “bolster the Hellenic Air Force’s ability to support NATO and remain interoperable with the U.S. and the NATO alliance,” the State Department said. They would “also help Greece sustain operations in the future, thereby reducing the threat the alliance’s enemies pose to the U.S. and the alliance.”
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency formally notified Congress of the proposed sale Oct. 16. Lawmakers have 30 days to review the deal.
While no offsets have been announced, Greece typically requests them, the State Department said. Any offset agreement would have to be negotiated between Greece and Lockheed Martin.
The proposed sale would require about three to five more U.S. government or contractor representatives to be assigned to Greece.
The Greece news came a little over a month after the State Department announced a possible $3.9 billion deal to provide new and upgraded F-16Vs to Bahrain. Congress took no action to block that sale.