FORT WORTH, Texas --- The U.S. government has awarded an initial $187 million for long-lead tasks as part of a $1.1 billion contract to Lockheed Martin for the production of 30 new Advanced Block 50 F-16 aircraft for Turkey.
"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the commitment we have made to the government of Turkey. We remain committed to providing our customer with the most technologically advanced multirole fighter available today," said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs. "This marks the 52nd follow-on buy of F-16s by 14 repeat customers. The aircraft we will deliver to Turkey will join the fleet of over 4,300 F-16s representing 24 nations."
Earlier this year, the governments of Turkey and the United States signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) agreeing to the purchase of 30 Block 50 F-16s.
The new aircraft will supplement the Turkish Air Force's (TUAF) existing fleet of F-16s and contribute to the upgrade and modernization of the TUAF. The new aircraft include the same advanced systems being installed on Turkey's existing F-16 fleet as part of an on-going upgrade program. At the conclusion of these two programs all Turkish F-16s will be in a common, state-of-the-art configuration. The final Turkish F-16 under this contract will be delivered in 2013.
"Our company and employees take great pride in producing and sustaining the F-16 and look forward to doing so for many years to come," Larson said. "We value our partnership with the government of Turkey and the confidence they have placed in the F-16 in support of their nation's security."
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2006 sales of $39.6 billion.