Lockheed Martin submitted two offers for F-16 Block 70 to Colombia

Lockheed Martin offered two F-16 Block 70 packages for the Colombian Air Force, one for 16 units and the other for 24, to replace its IAI Kfir fighters.

According to Radio Caracol, the Colombian government had requested a cost estimate from the US for the purchase of the F-16 Block 70s in November 2022, and Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the model, submitted two proposals for the consideration of the Ministry of Defense in Bogota.

Two proposals

The first bid is for 24 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, at a unit value of just over US$108 million each. This offer also includes the training of Colombian pilots and technical personnel, simulators and maintenance for three years. This offer is valued at US$4,202 million. The second offer is for 16 F-16 Block 70 aircraft, and their corresponding training and logistics package, for US$3,132 million.

Should any of Lockheed Martin’s proposals be successful against the Dassault and Saab bids, the first 3 aircraft would arrive in 2028, 17 in 2029 and the last 4 in 2030. Prior to the arrival of the aircraft, the Colombian Air Force (FAC) will have to expand and modernize the infrastructure of its air bases to deploy the U.S. fighters.

Armament package

The armament package, which is being negotiated separately, has the option to include Harpoon anti-ship missiles for just over $177 million. Another armament package offered for $225 million would include AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) missiles.

JSOW Marruecos
JSOW long-range guided missile


The U.S. offer would also contemplate industrial offsets that include development plans for Colombia’s aerospace and cybersecurity industries, as well as support in the construction of satellites. Colombian President Gustavo Petro recently expressed that he wants his country to become a satellite manufacturer or parts supplier to the global satellite ecosystem.

And the competition?

The Saab Gripen E and the Dassault Rafale have been competing against Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to win the contract to replace the FAC’s Kfir from the beginning, and although in December last year, Defense Minister Iván Velásquez had publicly confirmed that his government was opting for the French offer, in the end no agreement was reached.

Dassault Rafale
French Dassault Rafale fighter

To pay for the first part of the acquisition, the Colombian Ministry of Defense had an available budget of US$ 678 million agreed during the previous government, through a CONPES (National Council for Economic and Social Policy) document. In total, Colombia intended to purchase 16 Dassault Rafale fighters, over a period of 10 years, whose approximate cost would have been about USD 3,150 million.

See also: Brazil inaugurates Gripen E production line

But as the CONPES had an expiration date of December 31, 2022, and as the negotiations with Dassault could not be closed in time, the Colombian Air Force’s Kfir replacement program had to be postponed.

La Fuerza Aérea Sueca se prepara para los próximos 20 años
SAAB Gripen E

Dassault and Saab continue to promote their products to the FAC and are expected to soon submit their latest and best offers to the Colombian Ministry of Defense, in order for the Government to make a decision by the end of May or June.

Gastón Dubois
Gastón Dubois
Editor en jefe en Aviacionline Defensa. Editor-in-Chief Aviacionline Defense. Feliz de poder darle letra a esta pasión y compartirla con Uds. Contacto:



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