F-16 Fighting Falcon - International Users
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Speaking at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at Royal Air Force (RAF) Fairford in Gloucestershire, Bill McHenry, head of Lockheed Martin's F-16 business, told Janes in July 2014 that he saw the global market as supporting the sale of about 100 more new-build F-16s to take production out to beyond the current end-date of 2017.
As of December 2013 Lockheed Martin had enough orders to keep its F-16 fighter jet production line open through the third quarter of 2017. They were also pursuing additional orders and upgrades in the Middle East, South America and other markets that would keep the line running through 2020.
As of September 2011 Lockheed Martin's Fort Worth plant had some 60 F-16s in the production pipeline, with the last of these scheduled for delivery in 2013. The new orders from Oman and Iraq in December 2011 should keep the F-16 line operating through 2015. Iraqi commanders say they ultimately want 96 F-16s, enough for five squadrons deployed around the country. Iraq's acquisition of F-16C/Ds will extend Lockheed's production of the type through 2018.
The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Program is that part of Security Assistance authorized by the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and conducted using formal contracts or agreements between the United States Government (USG) and an authorized foreign purchaser. These contracts, called Letters of Offer and Acceptance (LOAs), are signed by both the USG and the purchasing Government or international organization; and provide for the sale of defense articles and/or defense services (to include training) usually from Department of Defense (DoD) stocks or through purchase under DoD-managed contracts. As with all Security Assistance, the FMS program supports United States (U.S.) foreign policy and national security objectives.
F-16 user countries include Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, South Korea, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Venezuela. The F-16 continues as a modern, highly capable, affordable and supportable fighter. The program is healthy, with a strong likelihood of new orders that will extend the line for several more years.
Through the first quarter of 2009, the company's backlog was about 95 F-16 aircraft and there remained significant international potential. Recent F-16 program milestones had included an arrival ceremony at Araxos Air Base, Greece, for the first four of 30 aircraft to be delivered through the Hellenic Air Force's Peace Xenia IV program, as well as the final deliveries of F-16s to Poland in December 2008, and F-16s to Israel in 2009. Several F-16 modification, upgrade and modernization programs are also underway for Turkey, Pakistan, Jordan and the U.S. Air Force, providing the newest combat capabilities to the worldwide group of F-16 users. The upgrade potential for the F-16 fleet is substantial since 25 countries have ordered F-16s to date and the aircraft will be in operation around the world for several more decades.
During the Cold War, the United States would sell or transfer arms to those states that supported American national security policy. If a state was anti-Communist, they were a qualified arms customer. In the 1970s the Congress put much tighter controls on the process, with legislation linking a state's human rights record with their eligibility to buy or receive arms from America. This trend culminated in 1977 with President Carter's Presidential Directive(PD)-13. This required all arms transfers to be directly linked to US security interests, and tied them to the human rights record of recipient governments. PD-13 also prohibited the introduction of weapons more sophisticated than weapons already present in the region. Latin America's authoritarian governments with poor human rights records , combinted with the low tech military forces to effectively cut off significant arms sales to the region.
Ronald Reagan supported providing weapons to governments to help put down Communist insurgencies, and Latin America was the focus of this renewed focus on anti-Communism. In 1982 President Reagan effectively rescinded President Carter's PD-13 and sold F-16's to Venezuela to provide a regional counterbalance to Cuba's acquisition of Soviet MiG-23's. Though the flow of less advanced arms continued to Latin America during the Reagan years, the Venezuelan F-16 deal was the last sale of United States advanced fighters to the region for some time. The export to Venezuela was more about political and symbolic function than an operational imperative. When Venezuela bought their F-16s without a viable maintenance or training program, the aircraft were reduced to symbolic function only - their operational teeth were missing (along with the logistical tail).
There exists an ongoing potential for turning-off maintenance and technological support for US high-tech weapons to countries that have fallen out of political favor with America. Combat effectiveness is a function of sophisticated weapons, and the the maintenance and support that keeps them operational. The cutoff in maintenance support was so effective against Iran that most of their most capable air defense interceptor -- the F-14 Tomcat -- became spare parts bins after US support was terminated.
The F-16 team reauthored the data from 27 independent databases into a single composite database in order to take advantage of the common data existing between the different versions of F-16. The output from the composite database amounted to approximately 1.4 million pages. Not only will the USAF use the new digitized tech data, F-16 owners from Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Bahrain, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Korea, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Taiwan and Venezuela will also have access to the common digitized data.
The F-16 continued as the world's most sought-after fighter. The year 2000 was one of the F-16's best years for export orders. Firm export orders totaled 220 aircraft as follows: Israel (50), Greece (50), UAE (80), Korea (20) and Singapore (20). Also during the year, the U.S. Air Force ordered 14 additional F-16s with Fiscal Year 00/01 appropriations.
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