The USA has blocked a deal under which Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was to upgrade the Venezuelan air force’s Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs.

Washington’s opposition to the contract is in line with the USA’s policy of vetoing the flow of advanced military technologies to a number of nations that it believes pose a threat to US interests. After lengthy negotiations the Venezuelan air force had agreed to become the launch customer for IAI’s avionics capability enhancement (ACE) package, for its 22 F-16s.

The upgrade uses open architecture software that would allow the aircraft to carry a wide range of weapons and sensors without any hardware changes. The full ACE configuration includes Elta’s ELM-2032 sythnetic aperture radar and three 125 x 180mm (5 x 7in) liquid crystal multifunction displays developed in Israel by Astronautics. The Israeli air force has unofficially made it clear that it has no interest in the ACE upgrade package.


Source: Flight International