The US$69.3m firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract for F-16 Systems Program Office support was awarded by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center on June 30. As per the contract, Lockheed Martin will provide the South Korean Peace Bridge Upgrade (PBU) programme with advanced Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) and Link-16 tactical datalink systems for part of the ROKAF’s F-16 fleet, which stands at approximately 164 aircraft (according to AirForces Intelligence data).
Contract work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas; Greenville, South Carolina; Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California; and in the Republic of Korea. It is expected to be complete by October 31, 2026.
AirForces Intelligence data states that the ROKAF currently maintains a 164-strong F-16 fleet, which is made up of Fighting Falcons from five different variants: F-16C Block 32 (27); F-16D Block 32 (8); KF-16C Block 52 (70; KF-16D Block 52 (41) and RF-16C Block 52 (18). The F-16C/Ds entered operational service in 1986, while the KF-16C/D joined the ROKAF’s ranks in 1994. The RF-16C is the result of locally conducted conversions, which equipped 18 KF-16Cs with Elbit Systems Condor 2 reconnaissance pods. This model entered ROKAF service in 2016.