In 2005, Greece terminated its $6 billion Eurofighter contract in favor of F-16s. Now that sale has taken the next step, as Greece has submitted its order for the aircraft and ancillary electronics, spares, and weapons, to match rival Turkey’s recent F-16 purchases and upgrades.
On October 25/05, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) formally notified Congress [PDF] of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Greece of 40 F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft as well as associated equipment and services. That sale continues to move forward, item by item; the total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $3.1 billion. Greece’s full “Peace Xenia IV” order request now features:
Peace Xenia IV
Another 30 F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft with F100-PW-229 engines, conformal fuel tanks to let them cover Cyprus, and APG-68v9 radars (option for 10 declined, now 20 single-seat F-16C Block 52s and 10 2-seat F-16D Block 52s). Plus:
* 42 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS);
* 40 AN/AVS-9 Generation III Aviation Night Vision Goggles;
* 190 LAU-129/A Launchers;
* 48 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT);
* 3 Link-16 Ground Stations;
* 10 LANTIRN Targeting pods (previous-generation equipment – many air forces now use LITENING pods or Sniper XR on their F-16s);
* 11 Reconnaissance pods (they turned out to be Goodrich DB-110s, with…);
* 2 Reconnaissance Ground Stations;
* 40 APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems;
* 43 AN/ALQ-187 Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suites;
* 6 spare F100-PW-229 engines;
* 3 APG-68v9 spare radar sets;
* 4 AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapons (JSOW);
* 6 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM with 3 BLU-10 and 3 MK-84 bomb bodies);
* 4 Wind Compensated Munitions Dispenser (GPS/INS-guided cluster bombs);
The request also covers associated support equipment, software development/integration, modification kits, capability to employ a wide variety of munitions, spares and repair parts, flight test instrumentation, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics personnel services, and other related support requirements.
The estimated cost is $3.1 billion.
The DSCA reports that this modernization will be provided in accordance with, and subject to the limitation on use and transfer provided under the Arms Export Control Act, as amended, and as embodied in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance. They also take care to note that this proposed sale will not adversely affect either the military balance in the region, or U.S. efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus questions.
The principal contractors will be:
* BAE Advanced Systems, Greenlawn, NY
* Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX
* Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, FL
* L3 Communications, Arlington, TX
* Boeing Corporation (McDonald Douglas Corporation), St. Louis, MO
* Raytheon Electronic Warfare Systems Company, Goleta, CA
* Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, AZ
* Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems, Garland, TX
* Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, MD
* Pratt & Whitney United Technology Company, East Hartford, CT
Offset agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected. They are undetermined at this time but will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractors.
Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Greece.
Contracts and Ancillary Developments
FY 2009 – 2014
Deliveries; Requests for engine support; Will Greece lease some F-16s to Bulgaria to help pay for fleet modernization?
The Hellenic Air Force has ordered a total of 170 F-16s. All are F-16C/Ds, but the initial 2 tranches of 80 F-16 Block 30 and Block 50 aircraft are powered by GE’s F110-110/129 engines. The next 2 “Peace Xenia III/IV” orders covered 90 Block 52 planes, powered by Pratt & Whitney’s F100-229 engine. This adds maintenance costs, but ensures that engine problems can’t ground the HAF’s fighter fleet.
Nov 18/14: Support. The US DSCA announces Greece’s formal export request to continue F-16 sustainment support for the Hellenic Air Force. This includes the Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program, International Engine Management Program, F-16 Technical Coordination Program, and Aircraft Structural Integrity Program. Other services can include aircraft hardware and software support, repair and return, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, support equipment, minor modifications, and other forms of US government and contractor support. The estimated cost is up to $188 million.
The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin in Ft Worth, TX and Northrup Grumman in Baltimore, MD. Implementation of this proposed sale won’t require any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives in Greece. Sources: US DSCA #14-57, “Greece – F-16 Sustainment”.
DSCA request: support
Oct 11/14: Bulgaria? Bulgaria has been looking to purchase 6-8 NATO-compatible fighters since 2006, but their economy is small and so is their defense budget. Even that won’t replace their existing fleet of 6 MiG-21s, 15 MiG-29s, and 14 Su-25s, most of which will need to retire soon. Katherimini reports that the Bulgarians are looking at rentals, and says that Greece may be willing to step in with its F-16s. The idea is that the lease could bring Greece several hundred million euros, which they could use to upgrade some of their other F-16s.
The bad news for Bulgaria is that Greece doesn’t seem to be offering its newer Block 52s, which means that Bulgaria would probably be getting 25 year old Peace Xenia I F-16C/D Block 30s, powered by GE’s F110 engine. They can carry reconnaissance pods and fire AGM-88 HARM radar-killer missiles and AIM-7 Sparrow medium range air-to-air missiles, but they would need further upgrades to use weapons like the far superior AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missile, or GPS-guided weapons like JDAM, JSOW, etc. If Greece leased Bulgaria 6-8 of its 40 GE F110-powered F-16 C/D Block 50s instead, all of those limitations would vanish.
Note that Saab’s JAS-39C/D Gripen fighters already have a proven leasing history, and offer a wider range of capabilities than F-16 Block 30s. They are flown that way by fellow NATO members the Czech Republic, Hungary, and soon by Slovakia. Sources: Kathimerini.
July 11/13: Engines. The US DSCA announces [PDF] Greece’s official export request for F100-PW-229 engine spares and services – basically the proposal Greece’s government approved back in January (q.v. Jan 2/13 entry). Spare parts and services include: Inlet /Fan Modules, Core Engine Modules, Rear Compressor Drive Turbines, Fan Drive Turbine Modules, Augmentor Duct and Nozzle Modules, Gearbox Modules, and other forms of US Government and contractor support. The estimated cost is up to $250 million.
Given only 1 manufacturer, we fail to understand what “The proposed sale will not be for one sole source contract for this sale” means. The DSCA does say that the sale won’t require any additional support representatives in Greece.
DSCA request: Engine parts & support
Jan 2/13: Engine spares. The Greek Governmental Council on Foreign Policy and National Defence unanimously approves Defence Minister’s Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos proposal and decided the procurement of spare parts for 67 F100-PW-229 engines. Greek Ministry of Defence:
“The aforementioned provision will be effected by interstate agreement with the pertinent United States’ Government Authority and the total cost will amount up to 183.7 million Euros, apportioned to 5 years.”
April 29/11: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Greece’s formal request for spare parts and services for the F100-PW-229 engines equipping some of its F-16 aircraft. This equipment includes: Inlet/Fan Modules, Core Engine Modules, Rear Compressor Drive Turbines, Fan Drive Turbine Modules, Augmentor Duct and Nozzle Modules, and Gearbox Modules, plus other support equipment, publications and technical documentation, and related US government & contractor support.
The estimated cost is up to $100 million, but exact figures will depend on a negotiated contract. The funds for the blanket order requisitions FMSO II would come under the Cooperative Logistics Supply Support Agreement, and implementation will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Greece. See also F-16.NET.
DSCA request: Engine spares request
Feb 9/11: Training. L-3 Link Simulation & Training in Arlington, VA delivers a 2nd F-16C Block 52+ Aircrew Training Device to the Hellenic Air Force’s Araxos Air Base. The simulator is network-capable with the HAF’s 1st F-16C Block 52+ ATD, which was delivered to the HAF’s Souda Bay military installation in 2005. Fort Worth Star-Telegram Sky Talk.
Aug 26/10: Crash. A Greek F-16C and F-16D collide on a training mission, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another. F-16.NET.
May 23/09: Arrival. Greece’s NET television channel reports that the first 4 new F-16 Block 52+ fighters have arrived in Greece. FOCUS Information Agency.
March 19/09: 1st handover. The Fort worth Star-Telegram reports that Lockheed Martin officials have formally handed over the first F-16s under this contract. Rev. Michael Stearns, a priest at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church of Fort Worth, blessed the aircraft.
2006 – 2008
From initial request to order for 20; Orders for ECM, reece pods, Link-16; Request for various GPS-guided weapons: Enhanced Paveway, JDAM, WCMD, JSOW.
Sept 29/08: Weapons. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency announces [PDF] Greece’s formal request to buy 50 Enhanced Paveway II kits, providing dual GPS and laser guidance for for MK-84 2,000 pound bombs. Greece is also requesting sustainment support for its fleet of F-16s, which includes Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program services, Technical Coordination Program services, minor modifications, repair and return, Aircraft Structural Integrity Program services, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical support. The estimated cost is up to $133 million.
The principal contractors will be:
* Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ;
* Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Fort Worth, TX;
* Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Dallas, TX;
* Northrop-Grumman Electro-Optical Systems in Garland, TX;
* Northrop-Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, MD
DSCA adds that “The proposed sale of these weapons and support will bring overall standoff performance up to existing regional baselines. Greece will have no difficulty absorbing these weapons and support into its armed forces.”
May 8/07: DB-110 pods. Goodrich will provide 2 reconnaissance pods, a ground exploitation system and aircraft integration in an initial order from the HAF. The DB-110 collects and transmits digital, real-time images from its electro-optical sensors, and will give the HAF a long-range, high-resolution, stand off imaging capability to support tactical operations. The on-board system can be operated autonomously, with the DB-110 being controlled by the pod’s reconnaissance management system. Imagery is viewed on the F-16’s cockpit video display, enabling the pilot to verify targets and conduct tasks such as battle damage assessment. The real-time display also gives the aircrew the ability to seek out targets of opportunity or select a different route to a selected target. Images can also be transmitted to analysts on the ground in real time for immediate exploitation and analysis. The DB-110 currently has orders from Poland for its F-16 C/Ds, and Japan for its P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
Goodrich’s Chelmsford, Massachusetts-based facility will be manufacturing and delivering the DB-110 airborne reconnaissance pods. Ground exploitation systems will be built in Goodrich’s facility in Malvern, Worcestershire, U.K. Both sites are part of the company’s ISR Systems division. Goodrich release.
Dec 21/06: 30 F-16s. Lockheed Martin Corp. in Fort Worth, TX received a $931.3 million firm-fixed-price and time and materials contract modification. This action provides for 20 operational single place F-16C Block 50 aircraft and 10 operational two place F-16D Block 52 aircraft under the Peace Xenia IV (Greece) program. This buy will be accomplished under the firm-fixed price portion of the contract; the base $99.7 million unfinalized award in Feb 13/06 was awarded for the long lead requirements only.
This modification increases the undefinitized contract to include all requirements for the production program, and raises the overall ceiling to just over $1.03 billion. At this time, $485.3 million have been obligated. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-06-C-6003/P00008).
Dec 8/06: Weapons. The US DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Greece of F-16C/D precision munitions, as well as associated equipment and services. The total value off this additional sale, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $104 million for JSOW, JDAM, WCMD, and Enhanced Paveway precision strike weapons.
DSCA request: Weapons
Oct 5/06: Link 16. Data Link Solutions in Cedar Rapids, IA receives a $6.2 million firm-fixed-price delivery order for MIDS-LVTs. This contract is for the government of Greece (100%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Wayne, NJ (50%), and Cedar Rapids, IA (50%), and is expected to be complete by April 2009. This delivery order was competitively procured, with synopsis was released via the Federal Business Opportunities web site and 3 offers received via the Space and Naval Warfare Systems E-commerce web site. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, CA issued the contract (N00039-00-D-2100).
July 2006: No option. Greece clarifies its long-term spending plans. They will not pick up an option for 10 F-16s, limiting their order to 30. At the same time, any purchase of alternative aircraft was put off beyond the 2011 time frame.
July 21/06: ECM. Raytheon Co. in Goleta, CA received a $96 million firm-fixed-price, time and materials contract for the foreign military sales of the advanced self protection integrated suite to Greece. This electronic warfare system will be used on the F-16 aircraft being procured under a separate acquisition by the F-16 program office. Associated spares, support equipment, engineering services, flight test support and data are also being acquired under this contract. Solicitations began March 2006, negotiations were complete July 2006, and work will be complete April 2009. The Headquarters Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins Air Force Base, GA issued the contract (FA8253-06-C-0027).
July 14/06: Industrial. AFP reports that the Greek defense ministry has approved an offset package worth $250 million, as part of the purchase of 30 F-16 fighter aircraft from Lockheed Martin. The deal includes manufacturing projects for Greece’s state and private defense industry. The report also notes that Greece has declined to exercise the option on the additional 10 aircraft, leading to speculation that the 2009 buy will be a 40 aircraft order as the EPA seeks more modern equipment to keep pace with its Aegean rival.
Feb 13/06: Lead-in. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. in Ft Worth, TX received a $99.7 million firm fixed price & time and materials contract. The procurement of 20 operational F-16C Block 50 aircraft and 10 operational two-seat F-16D Block 52 aircraft will be accomplished under the firm fixed portion of the contract. At this time $29.2 million has been obligated. Work will be complete by March 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-06-C-6003).
Jan 31/06: Radar. Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Linthicum Heights, MD received an initial $63.9 million firm fixed price contract for procurement of 33 AN/APG-68(V)9 Radar Systems. At this time, $31.7 million has been obligated. Work will be complete by March 2010. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH issued the contract (FA8615-06-C-6048).
* F-16.NET – Elliniki Aeroporia: Hellenic Air Force – HAF.
* F-16.NET – F-16C/D Block 52. Every order is slightly different, but the distinguishing difference between Block 50 vs. Block 52 machines is the engine. Block 50s have GE engines, while the 52s fly with Pratt & Whitney.
* DID – Turkey Orders 30 F-16C Block 50s etc. for $2.9B. They aren’t standing still, either.
* DID – $1.1B to Upgrade Turkish F-16 fleet. A parallel program to its new buy.