Upgrades and Transfers

There may be some new users of the F-16 even without new production, Lockheed Martin F-16 Vice President and General Manager Rod McLean said Wednesday. Speaking with reporters at a company media event in Arlington, Va., McLean said Lockheed Martin is ready to facilitate transfers from existing users to new ones. Romania is in talks to obtain F-16s that Portugal is phasing out, and there have been discussions about Denmark transferring some airplanes to a third party. Modification work would likely be needed on any such transfer, McLean said. Cash-strapped Greece is even thinking of an upgrade to get all its F-16s up to a common Block 50 standard, he said. Although the US Air Force CAPES upgrade of the F-16—which would include the Northrop Grumman SABR radar—is currently moribund, a very similar upgrade to Taiwan’s F-16s is underway and going well, McLean said, and could easily be adapted to USAF’s Vipers if something like CAPES is resurrected. Air Combat Command chief Gen. Hawk Carlisle said at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium last week that he would still like to get at least the SABR for his F-16s, if not the rest of the CAPES.