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First South Korean F-16s arrive for upgrades

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F-16 aircraft. A BAE Systems photo

LONDON (BNS): British defence major BAE Systems has begun to upgrade 134 South Korean F-16 aircraft in partnership with the US Air Force.

Two of the F-16s recently arrived at the company's modification facility at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, Texas, where they will be equipped with advanced weapons and next-generation avionics, including advanced mission computers, new cockpit displays, and advanced radars and targeting sensors.

The work is part of a Foreign Military Sales programme for the Republic of Korea's fleet of KF-16C/D Block 52 aircraft over several years.

With a contract now in place, the programme marks the first time a non-original equipment manufacturer is performing a major upgrade for a 4th-generation U S fighter jet.

The company is also offering similar capabilities to other countries around the world in need of F-16 upgrades.

Under terms negotiated by the Republic of Korea Air Force and the U S government, the company is performing Phase One of the KF-16 programme, which also includes associated equipment, parts, training, and logistical support.

Phase Two will begin this year and will fund completion of the systems integration and flight test activities, followed by production and installation of the upgrades.

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