Lockheed Martin announced that it will launch the upgrade of 85 Greek F16 fighter jets with the Block 70/72 Viper system next Monday.
Making the announcement today during a press conference in Thessaloniki was Lockheed Martin’s VP Business Development Initiatives in Europe Dennys Plessas, who explained the timetable of the upgrade and said that “a great part of the upgrade will take place in Greece.”
The first two years will be spent on engineering for the prototype and the registration of the systems. The installation on Greek fighter jets will take place during the third year of the program, and the Hellenic Airforce pilots will be trained in the fourth year. The training is anticipated to be brief, as he said, because of the expertise of Greek fighter pilots.
The upgrade of the 85 warplanes to Vipers “will provide the Hellenic Airforce with an entirely new aircraft, as the only element we shall keep is the fuselage,” Plessas said.
He added that the F-16s and the fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 share some technology, including the new radars to be installed (digital sweeping model APG83).
Among other issues, Plessas said that 70% of the Hercules transport planes’ latest edition, the J model, delivered by Lockheed Martin to Australia “was made by Greek hands.”