Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $914 million foreign military sales contract to upgrade Singapore’s F-16 fighter jets.

Work on the aircraft will be performed at Fort Worth, and is expected to be completed by 30 June 2023, the US Department of Defense says in an update on contracts awarded.

Lockheed was awarded the contract on a single-source basis, however details on what the upgrade will involve were not disclosed.

Singapore’s defence ministry declined to comment on the contract when contacted by Flightglobal, but pointed to earlier statements that it planned to fit the aircraft with active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and more advanced avionics to enhance its all-weather, ground attack capability.

In May, the US State Department approved the sale of $130 million worth of equipment related to the upgrade of the F-16s, including 50 Boeing joint helmet-mounted cueing systems (JHMCS), 90 BAE Systems AN/APX-126 advanced identification friend and foe (IFF) interrogator/transponders, and 92 Link-16 terminals.

Industry insiders have told Flightglobal previously that Northrop Grumman’s Scalable Agile Beam Radar will be supplied for the upgrade, although it was not mentioned in the May approval.

Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer shows that Singapore's air force operates 60 F-16C/Ds which range in age from 10 to 17 years in age.

The upgrade has long been on the cards, and Lockheed rival BAE Systems had been pushing Singapore to consider an open tender for the upgrade..

BAE Systems previously won a contract to develop an upgrade programme for South Korea’s F-16s, but had its contract terminated in late-2014 following disagreements over price.

Source: Flight International