BAE Sees Billions in Worldwide F-16 Avionics Upgrades
BAE Systems sees a huge market worth billions of dollars in upgrading the avionics of the F-16 fighter flown by air forces around the world, a company executive said.
Potential sales for modernizing the F-16’s fire control computer and onboard electronic systems are worth “several billion dollars,” Floyd McConnell, vice president of integrated aviation solutions, told journalists July 11 at the Farnborough International Airshow.
BAE is threatening the hold of the F-16 builder, Lockheed Martin, which dominates the modernization of F-16 fleets around the world.
There are at least 600 aircraft in the F-16 “low block” versions around the world that need to be upgraded, McConnell said.
The British company is an original equipment manufacturer for some 40 percent of the electronic systems on the F-16 and has upgraded 270 aircraft flown by the U.S. Air National Guard, he said.
BAE sees market opportunities as air forces seek to update electronics on the F-16, which was designed some 40 years ago. Upgrades would be an attractive alternative to the high cost of buying new aircraft at a time of tight budgets, along with the lengthy wait for deliveries of new aircraft in a queue behind other countries and the U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed has sold an estimated 4,500 F-16s worldwide.