Portugal is negotiating to acquire 25 ex-US Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs to be upgraded and operated alongside its 20 new-build aircraft. Funds are short, and Portugal is hoping to get the used airframes free of charge so that it can afford to upgrade at least some of them to F-16A/B Mid-Life Update (MLU) standard.

The US Government is believed to be considering whether to make such an offer, which would be the first to involve modifying surplus aircraft to the MLU standard. The air forces of Belgium, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands are upgrading more than 340 F-16A/Bs under the MLU programme, installing an improved cockpit, radar, computer and other systems.

Venezuela, meanwhile, is seeking two ex-USAF aircraft to replace two of its original 24 F-16A/Bs which were lost in accidents in 1995. The USA has provided price and availability data to Venezuela.

Source: Flight International