The US government has awarded Lockheed Martin $512 million to produce eight F-16 Block 70 fighters for Bulgaria.

The project is expected to be completed by 31 January 2027, says the US Department of Defense in a contract announcement.

The work will take place in Fort Worth, Texas and at Lockheed’s new F-16 line in Greenville, South Carolina.

Sofia approved the deal in July 2019. The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) package includes six single-seat aircraft and a pair of two-seat aircraft.

The new fighters – Bulgaria’s biggest military procurement since the fall of Communism – will be used to replace its ageing fleet of RAC MiG-29s, which were delivered in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The original FMS deal, announced in June 2019, totals $1.67 billion. In addition to the eight fighters, it also includes a broad range of sensors, weapons, training devices, software, training, support, and spares.