26/08/2020 – Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract from the United States Department of Defence for F-16 fighters for Taiwan and Morocco, which will receive 66 and 24 respectively under the contract.
On 14 August the Department of Defence announced that Lockheed Martin had been awarded a contract for new production of F-16 Foreign Military Sale (FMS) aircraft. “The total value for the initial delivery order is $4 941 105 246 and will be awarded on the same date. The initial delivery order is for 90 aircraft, including both the pre-priced recurring core configuration costs at $2 862 797 674 and the engineering change proposal/undefinitized contract action for the non-recurring costs not-to-exceed $2 078 307 572 obligated at approximately $1 018 370 710,” the contract announcement read.
Work is expected to be completed on 31 December 2026.
According to the Department of Defence, if all potential foreign customers placed their maximum desired orders over the next decade, Lockheed Martin would receive $62 billion in F-16 contracts.
In September 2019 Morocco requested the sale of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft and related equipment for $3.787 billion. The Moroccan request includes Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines, APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars, Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems, AIM-120C-7 AMRAAM missiles, Paveway II guided bombs and GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs, amongst others.
The Royal Moroccan Air Force currently flies 23 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft that it received from 2011 to 2012 (one was lost over Yemen during operations as part of the Saudi-led coalition). The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency recently approved the upgrade of these aircraft to the latest F-16V Block 70/72 standard.
Morocco’s F-16s are equipped with a variety of extra equipment, including Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, Goodrich DB-110 airborne reconnaissance pods and Raytheon’s Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES). Armament includes AIM-9X Block II Sidewinders with lock on after launch capability, AGM-65D Maverick air-to-surface missiles and Enhanced GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb kits.
Sahel-Elite (Bamamko-Mali) | Photo: Image utilisée juste à titre d’illustration :(U.S. Air Force photo/Bailee A. Darbasie)