State Department OKs $1.7B sale of eight F-16 Vipers to Bulgaria

Eagle1

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State Department OKs $1.7B sale of eight F-16 Vipers to Bulgaria
By Allen Cone



The F-16V, the latest and most advanced variant of the F-16, flies near Lockheed Martin's plant in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2015. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/Flickr


June 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department has approved a possible $1.7 billion sale to Bulgaria of eight F-16 Viper fighter jets and related equipment.
The contract includes eight F-16 C/D Block 70/72 aircraft, also known as the F-16V, with spare parts, weapons and engineering, and logistical support services, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced Monday.

The agency notified Congress of the approval and possible sale on Thursday.
"These aircraft will provide Bulgaria with a fleet of modernized multi-role combat aircraft, ensuring that Bulgaria can effectively operate in hazardous areas and enhancing the Bulgarian air force's interoperability with U.S. as well as NATO forces," DSCA said in a news release.

Bulgaria currently relies on the United States and Britain to participate in joint air policing.

"By acquiring these F-16s and the associated sustainment and training package, Bulgaria will be able to provide for the defense of its own airspace and borders," the release said.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Defense announced last year a plan to purchase eight Viper fighter jets to replace its Soviet-designed MiG-29s. Bulgaria formerly was part of the Soviet Union.

"The acquisition of a new multipurpose fighter such as F-16V Block 70 from the United States, equipped with the latest generation radar and weaponry will improve significantly the combat capabilities of the Bulgarian air forces," Bulgaria's Defense Minister Krasimir Karakachanov told reporters last December.

The F-16V Block 70/72 is the latest and most advanced F-16 on the market that "combines capability upgrades, most notably the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array radar with a new avionics architecture, and structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the aircraft by more than 50 percent beyond that of previous production F-16 aircraft," according to Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the aircraft.

The radars, which are produced by Northrop Grumman, uses technology from the F-22 and F-35. F-16 Block 70 software also includes technologies not available when earlier Block F-16s were developed and produced.

General Dynamics, which is now owned by Lockheed Martin, designed the F-16, a fourth-generation fighter known as the Fighting Falcon. A single-seat model first flew in December 1976.

Approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are in service in 25 countries, according to Lockheed. The F-16 Viper variant first flew in 2015.

 

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What is the V version of the F-16? is it the same block the UAE is operating? I need to dig a bit.

The US is arming Eurasia to counter the Russian. This can be judged by the quick approval of arms deals at low prices.
 

Eagle1

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What is the V version of the F-16? is it the same block the UAE is operating? I need to dig a bit.

The US is arming Eurasia to counter the Russian. This can be judged by the quick approval of arms deals at low prices.
UAE operates BLk60

"V" specs is when a/c's are upgraded to Blk 70/72 specs.

From what I have noticed, upgrades like in the case of the Taiwanese A/B are referred to as "V", where as new built ones are Blk70/72. Bahrain will be the first customer for Blk 70's


The UAE Blk60's are in the process of getting software upgrades for their APG-80 radars, specifically their SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) capabilities, therefore bringing them up to the same specs as APG-83 in the Blk70/72. While still maintaining the higher thrust 32,500lbs GE engine.

The radar, EW, and countermeasure upgrades, will put the Blk60 on par with the Blk-70/72

Note: as in the previous Blk-50/52, here as well Blk-70 denotes a Pratt & Whitney i.e. PW engines, whereas Blk-72 denotes General Electric, i.e. GE engines.

For the Blk-70/72 this time around, there are options for three engines, but as of now no one has chosen the higher thrust GE engine.

Blk-70 - F100-PW-229 engine 29,000lbs

Blk-72 - F110-GE-129 engine 29,000lbs

Blk-72 - F110-GE-132 engine 32,500lbs
 

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Bulgaria – F-16C/D Block 70/72 Aircraft with Support
Transmittal No: 19-36

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2019 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bulgaria of F-16C/D Block 70/72 aircraft with support for an estimated cost of $1.673 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 30, 2019.

The Government of Bulgaria has requested to buy eight (8) F-16 C/D Block 70/72 aircraft; ten (10) F110 General Electric engines (includes 2 spares); ten (10) Link-16 Multi-Functional Information Distribution System (MIDS) - JTRS (MIDS-JTRS) (includes 2 spares); nine (9) Improved Program Display Generators (iPDG) (includes 1 spare); nine (9) AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars (includes 1 spare); four (4) AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Targeting Pods; nine (9) Modular Mission Computers (MMC) 7000AH (includes 1 spare); nine (9) LN-260 Embedded GPS/INS (EGI); nine (9) M61 Vulcan 20mm Cannons; sixteen (16) AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs); one AIM-120C7 Spare Guidance Section; twenty-four (24) AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles; eight (8) AIM-9X Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); four (4) AIM-9X Spare Tactical Guidance Sections; four (4) AIM-9X Spare CATM Guidance Sections; forty-eight (48) LAU-129 Multi-Purpose Launchers; fifteen (15) GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II Kits; fifteen (15) GBU-54 Laser JDAM Kits; twenty-eight (28) GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB-1); twenty-four (24) FMU-152 Fuzes; twenty-four (24) MK-82 Bombs (Tritonal); six (6) MK82 Bombs (Inert); and thirteen (13) MAU-210 Enhanced Computer Control Group (ECCG). Also included are nine (9) AN/ALQ-211 Internal Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (including 1 spare); nine (9) AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispensers (including 1 spare); 4,140 Infrared Flare countermeasures, with impulse cartridges; 8,250 each of PGU-27A/B 20mm training and combat munitions; thirty-six (36) MK-124 Signal/Smoke Illumination devices; nine (9) APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) units with Secure Communications and Cryptographic Appliques; eighteen (18) AN/ARC-238 UHF/VHF SATURN Radios; sixteen (16) AIM-120C AMRAAM training CATMs; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS) with software, training and support; twenty (20) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) II with Night Vision Goggle compatibility; ten (10) Night Vision Devices; two (2) Remote Operated Video Enhanced Receiver (ROVER) 6i units, plus 1 ground station; ground training device (flight and maintenance simulator); one (1) Avionics I-level Test Station; Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) support; Cartridge Actuated and Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) support; Common Munitions Bit-test Reprogramming Equipment (CMBRE) support with Computer Test Set Adapter Group; communications equipment; software delivery and support; facilities and construction support; spares and repair/replace parts; personnel training and training equipment; publications and technical documentation; containers; munition support and test equipment; aircraft and munition integration and test support; studies and surveys; U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $1.673 billion.

The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve security of a NATO ally and a key democratic partner of the United States in ensuring peace and stability in this region.

The proposed sale will contribute to Bulgaria's capability to provide for the defense of its airspace, regional security, and interoperability with the United States and NATO. These aircraft will provide Bulgaria with a fleet of modernized multi-role combat aircraft, ensuring that Bulgaria can effectively operate in hazardous areas and enhancing the Bulgarian Air Force's interoperability with U.S. as well as NATO forces. Bulgaria currently relies on the United States and the United Kingdom to participate in joint air policing. By acquiring these F-16s and the associated sustainment and training package, Bulgaria will be able to provide for the defense of its own airspace and borders. Bulgaria will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft and services into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Corporation, Bethesda, Maryland. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Bulgaria.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

 

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