Chile has signed a US government letter of offer and acceptance (LoA) for 10 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 50 fighters, but has dropped plans to buy tankers.

The $500 million deal, which Lockheed Martin hopes to finalise within months, is for six single-seat F-16Cs and four two-seat Ds for 2005-6 delivery, equipped with the Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)XM radar. Chile has an option on four more of the General Electric F110-129- powered fighters. The F-16 will feature Rafael Python 4 air-to-air missiles and be fitted for, but not armed with, Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAMs. Chile may well opt for the VSI Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System, but has not chosen a targeting pod and electronic countermeasures system. The original LoA included two Boeing KC-135R tankers, but Chile has not found the additional $78 million.

Source: Flight International