United States approves F-16V "Viper" sale to Morocco
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DCAS) announced the approval of the upgrade of 23 Moroccan F-16 C/D Block 52 to the Block 70 “Viper” standard, and the sale of 25 additional F-16V for the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) on March 25, 2019.
The total operation is valued at $4.8 billion. It still requires to be formally approved by the Senate.
The F-16V, which carried out its maiden flight in 2015, features new avionics, an active electronically scanned array (EASA) radar, and an automated ground collision avoidance system.
The contract also includes the delivery of equipment such as spare engines, AESA radars, weapons and a large array of ammunition for the fighter jets, including 60 GBU-39/B precision bombs.
“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally that continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in North Africa,” said the DCAS in a statement.
The twenty-four F-16 C/D currently in the RMAF fleet were acquired by Morocco back in 2011. One of the fighter jets was lost in 2015 during an operation in Yemen with the Saudi-led coalition.
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