The US Department of Defense has contracted Lockheed Martin to produce eight F-16V (Block 70) Fighting Falcons for Bulgaria.
The deal – worth US$512m – is the result of a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) placed by the Republic of Bulgaria in July 2019. Work will take place at Lockheed Martin’s facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, and Greenville, South Carolina. The contracting work is scheduled to be completed by January 2027.
The F-16V (Block 70) is the latest incarnation of the famed Fighting Falcon family. The aircraft is currently in production for Bahrain. It has also been requested by Morocco, Slovakia, and Taiwan under the FMS process. A variant of the F-16V (Block 70) – dubbed the F-21 – has also been offered to India.
In Bulgarian Air Force service, it is planned that the Viper will replace the nation’s ageing Cold War-era MiG-29 Fulcrum-A/MiG-29UB Fulcrum-B fighters.