F-16 FOREIGN MILITARY SALES

Perhaps the most marketable aircraft currently held by AMARC is the F-16. Various governments from around the world have opted to buy or lease F-16s previously stored at AMARC following retirement from the US Air Force under a Foreign Military Sale. A Foreign Military Sale starts with government to government agreements. The Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs will approve a sale and the specific hardware, software and weapons which can be released. In most instances, the customer will send out an advance party to AMARC to go through the records of individual aircraft available within AMARC to find out the hours, Gs and wear and tear.

One of the first things to be completed for such a contract is costing, which is worked out by the AMARC work loading office, this being responsible for negotiating with the customer on his specific requirements. The US Foreign Military Sale of F-16ADFs to Italy is a good example of such a contract. Once the customer agrees to the costing and signs the contract, AMARC will proceed with the required work.

AMARC’s work loading division completes the preparation paperwork, in accordance with the official statements of work, which specify the actual job requirements. If the task is to be carried out at AMARC, the work loading division will set up the work packages for the planners. As a result, the planners will get all the necessary manpower and timelines together and then the work will be issued to the floor. At this point the workforce will start disassembling the aircraft ready for inspection and rework.

AMARC delivered a total of 38 F-16s by means of overland shipment, to Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, for upgrades and modifications specific to the Foreign Military Sales contract with the Italian Air Force from 2002-2004. Each F-16 was withdrawn from desert storage, and prepared for shipment by a team of four or five AMARC technicians. The process for overland withdrawal of an aircraft begins on the wash rack where the spraylat is stripped off and the aircraft cleaned and lubricated. The engines may be removed for separate shipment and other components are left on board for shipment with the aircraft. The aircraft is meticulously disassembled and then packaged for overland shipment on a flat-bed truck.

AMARC’s on-site packaging and crating section creates custom-made supports, crates and packaging systems to protect the aircraft and components in transit. The wings, tail and engines are packaged individually and the fuselage is wrapped in heavy plastic before being secured to a wooden support pallet. Once the aircraft is prepared, it is loaded on to a flat-bed semi-tractor trailer truck for delivery. The F-16 Italian FMS overland withdrawal programme began in 2002 and was completed in 2004 with two aircraft deliveries required each month.

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