Friday, July 24, 2020

U.S. Approves $634 Million Package for Chilean F-16 Modernization

U.S. defense officials authorized a package of electronic and support equipment to upgrade Chile's F-16 fighter jets. The $634.7 million deal is the largest known military contract for Chile in at least a decade. Among the key items in the contract are 44 LN-260 Embedded GPS/IN, 49 tactical radios, Combined Altitude Radar Altimeters and Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) AN/APX-126 Combined Interrogator Transponders. Chile's Air Force also will get 19 Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing Systems, which allow pilots to aim missiles with high-tech visors, providing an aiming range at wide angles. Other navigation, mission planning and software upgrades are in the package, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Chile's F-16 C/D and MLU jets form the backbone of the country's warplane arsenal. It is the most expensive military program in Chile's history, and one that has already undergone upgrades. The assistance package is authorized, but not finalized until Chile's government approves funding. Previous U.S. assistance deals have taken years to bring to delivery. Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor on the latest upgrades.