According to a report from Reuters, the U.S. government on Wednesday canceled, at the request of South Korea, a preliminary contract to upgrade 134 F-16 fighter jets that had been awarded to the U.S. unit of Britain’s BAE Systems. The work was expected to be performed at a BAE site in north Fort Worth. The deal had been valued at $1.7 billion and was expected to result in the hiring of 300 workers. The contract was originally announced in December 2013. According to the Reuters report, the move may men South Korea can pursue a similar deal with the original manufacturer of the aircraft, Lockheed Martin. “This contract was the first of a two-phase Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procurement for the upgrade of 134 F-16s. The U.S. Government will work with BAE to close out the contract,” according to the announcement from the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
In a statment, BAE Systems said: “We are disappointed to learn that the Republic of Korea has requested to terminate the U.S. Air Force’s contract with BAE Systems for the KF-16 Upgrade Program. BAE Systems was selected by the Republic of Korea in 2012 after a full and open competition, where our solution was deemed the best, most flexible and cost-effective to meet the Republic of Korea’s F-16 upgrade needs. The U.S. Government approved the selection in 2013 and since May of this year, we had been successfully executing phase one of the program on schedule.” .