Greece upgrading existing F-16s to “Viper” variant prior to buying F-35s

Greece plans to modernize F-16 jets to Viper variant

February 9, 2017

Greece plans to modernize its fleet of F-16 fighters prior to purchasing the all-new F-35 Lightning II jets from the United States.

The news was reported by Greece’s Ekathimerini, quoting unidentified aides of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos who said the decision was taken in line with recommendations made by military chiefs.

The report said that in addition to upgrading existing F-16s and notifying the United States of its interest in procuring the F-35, Greece will also seek maintenance for the military’s S-300 PMU-1 long-range surface-to-air missile systems, but no further details were given concerning the latter.

A letter of request for modernizing the F-16s was reportedly signed by Kammenos on Tuesday.

Upgrading Greece’s entire fleet of F-16s to the “Viper” variant will cost between $1.7 billion and $2 billion, according to the report, and would be paid over a period of time rather than being paid in lumpsum.

The Lockheed Martin F-16V is the latest and most advanced F-16 on the market today. The jet provides advanced combat capabilities in a scalable and affordable package. The core of the F-16V configuration is an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a large-format, high-resolution display; and a high-volume, high-speed data bus.

Operational capabilities are enhanced through a Link-16 Theater Data Link, Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, advanced weapons, precision GPS navigation, and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).

Greece operates 154 F-16C and F-16D jets of blocks 30/50/52+ and 52+ Advanced.

Original post


Upgrading Greece’s entire fleet of F-16s to the “Viper” variant will cost between $1.7 billion and $2 billion, according to the report, and would be paid over a period of time rather than being paid in lumpsum.

HAF Inventory

Program Model Block Qty. Serials Delivered
Peace Xenia I F-16C Block 30 34 110/143 1989-1990
F-16D Block 30 6 144/149 1989
Peace Xenia II F-16C Block 50 32 046/077 1997-1998
F-16D Block 50 8 078/085 1997-1998
Peace Xenia III F-16C Block 52 34 500/533 2002-2004
F-16D Block 52 16 600/615 2002-2004
Option F-16C Block 52 6 534/539 2004
F-16D Block 52 4 616/619 2004
Peace Xenia IV F-16C Block 52 20 001-020 2009-2010
F-16D Block 52 10 021/030 2009-2010

Modifications & Armament

Block 30 Falcon-Up

The Block 30 fleet went through the mid-life ‘Falcon-Up’ upgrade program at Hellenic Aerospace Industry. The first aircraft entered Hellenic Aerospace Industry in September 1996. The aircraft was handed back to the HAF on July 15th, 1997. Work includes major disassembly of the aircraft, replacement of four major structural components of the fuselage. The improvements prolong the aircraft lifetime from 4000hrs to 8000hrs.

Targeting & Navigation Pods

Greece also improved the night attack capabilities of its Block 30 aircraft by equipping them with directly purchased, commercially available systems. The fact that Greece did not buy the LANTIRN system at first generated some friction between the USA and Greece. Greece later ordered some 24 LANTIRN navigation pods and 16 targeting pods for its Block 50 fleet.


150 AIM-120B as well as 82 AGM-88B HARM missiles were ordered to equip both Block 30 and Block 50 aircraft. On October 9th, 1997, the Government of Greece announced the procurement of 90 more AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), missile containers, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $42 million.

On December 21st, 2001, the Greek government signed a contract to buy up to 350 IRIS-T air-to-air missiles, with an option for 100 more. These will be used to re-equip the F-16s with a more potent air-to-air weapon. By August 2003, a further 100 AIM-120C5 AMRAAM missiles will have been delivered to the HAF for the use on the F-16 fleet.


Greek Block 30’s are the only F-16s which have a searchlight on the starboard side of the fuselage, just below and in front of the canopy.

The HAF F-16s will shortly receive Litton’s ASPIS electronic warfare suite (Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suite) which will be internally mounted and includes:

  • ALQ-187 I-DIAS jamming system
  • ALR-66VH (I) RWR
  • ALE-47 Chaff & Flare Dispenser


Related post:

Trump likely to approve F-16V fighter jet sales to Bahrain that were blocked by the Obama administration

Taiwan expected to complete F-16 upgrades within six years: AIDC

Taiwan begin upgrade of F-16A/B to F-16V configuration

Poland is negotiating with the US about buying hundreds of F-16

Poland Eyes F-16 Sustainment Change, Radar Upgrades

Link 16 communications are now allowed for all foreign F-16

F-16C/D: Details

F-16V Fighter– Upgrade: Details

F-16 pilot from the 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard flies a training mission in the KIWI MOA airspace over the cost of North Carolina Cost . (U.S. Air Force photo SMSgt Thomas Meneguin)


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