The US government has approved the sale of a $635 million upgrade package for Chile’s fleet of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters.

The package includes 19 joint helmet-mounted cueing systems, updates to avionics, communications equipment, cockpits, as well as other systems and services, says the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) in a congressional notification.

“The proposed sale will improve Chile’s capability to meet current and future threats by modernising its F-16 fleet, which will allow Chile to maintain sovereignty and homeland defence, increase interoperability with the United States and other partners, and deter potential adversaries,” says the DSCA.

Cirium fleets data shows that Chile has 46 F-16s in its inventory. Of these 36 are F-16A/Bs with an average age of 35 years. It also has 10 C/D-model examples, with an average age of 14 years.