Pakistani F-16 (Photo Credit: AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

The biggest defense and aerospace company in the world, Lockheed Martin, now plans to ‘commoditize’ its F-16 fighter jets to aid in the Foreign Military Sales and simplify the acquisition process.

Last month, the U.S. government awarded the company with a whopping $62-billion contract for indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ), fixed-price-incentive contract for the production of F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft over the next ten years.

The F-16 is one of the most widely produced fighter jets in the world comprising 16% of the global fleet- more than double compared to its competitor, the Russian Su-27/30 and variants.

JR McDonald, vice-president of business development in Lockheed Martin’s integrated fighter group said that the conventional cycle of evaluating and modifying the F-16 for FMS purchasers was awkward.

“The development of the pricing, and the back and forth with the country on the pricing, and then the actual pricing when we deliver it to them in the form of an offer and acceptance letter, that takes a very long time,” he says. “And, it takes a lot of money to develop those individual contracts for each individual country.”