06 Februari 2015
TNI AU F-16C/D (photo : Detik)
Contractor selected to sell Hill F-16s to foreign countries
HILL AIR FORCE BASE — With the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s pending arrival, there soon won’t be much use for the F-16 at Hill Air Force Base, but that doesn’t mean other countries don’t want them.
The U.S. Air Force just signed a $94 million contract with Sumaria Systems Inc., based in Danvers, Mass., to support foreign sales of some of their F-16s. The work under the new contract will be performed at Hill and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Under the five-year contract, which is expected to be complete by March 31, 2020, Sumaria will provide a myriad of management and professional services including engineering and technical services, conducting studies and providing analyses and evaluation for the fighter aircraft itself and also for its weapon systems and subsystems.
Edith Crane, site manager for a Sumaria satellite office based in Clearfield, says the company expects to add 41 new Top of Utah jobs as a result of the contract award.
The F-16s will be sold under what is known as the Foreign Military Sales program. Under the program, the U.S. can sell defense articles and services to foreign countries and international organizations when the president finds that it will strengthen the security of the U.S. and promote world peace.
Hill has been involved in the foreign sales of F-16s before. In July, the base’s Ogden Air Logistics Center delivered three of what will eventually be 24 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft to the government of Indonesia.
The delivery constituted the beginning of a nearly $700 million aircraft acquisition and refurbishment deal between Indonesia and the U.S. where Hill maintenance workers are upgrading the avionics and overhauling the wings, landing gear and other components on each aircraft.
By the end of 2015, the Ogden ALC is scheduled to deliver 21 more F-16s to the Indonesian government.
Hill currently has 48 active F-16s in the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings.
Although the F-35 arrives at Hill to replace the F-16 in September 2015, the two fighter jets will live under the same roof for a short time.
Operations of the jets will run concurrently while preparations are made for the F-35 bed-down and the F-16 departure. The exact timing of the F-16’s departure from Hill depends on annual budgets and the timing for the arrival of F-35 associated support equipment, but the transition plan does include a period of time where the wing is operating both aircraft.
The changeover will require facility modifications, equipment upgrades and training for wing operations and maintenance personnel.