Air forces in North Africa are favouring Lockheed Martin, with Egypt ordering 20 F-16s and Tunisia signing up for two C-130J Super Hercules.

Egypt’s new Fighting Falcons will bring its fleet up to 260. The country became the first Arab nation to purchase aeroplanes from the US military in 1980.

Their most recent order consists of 16 F-16Cs and four F-16Ds with the final combat fighters set to be delivered in 2013.

Vice-president of Lockheed Martin F-16 programmes John Larson said this was a proud moment for the company, marking its 53rd follow-on purchase from 14 customers.

Tunisia signed the contract with Lockheed, which includes three years of logistical support, at a ceremony in capital city Tunis at the end of February.

Vice-president of Lockheed Martin Air Mobility Jim Grant said more and more people were appreciating the flexibility and proven performance of the C-130J.

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Currently a fleet of C-130Hs and C-130Bs operate out of Tunisia carrying out missions varying from worldwide relief efforts to firefighting.

The global fleet of F-16s now tops 4,400, representing 25 nations across the globe. Tunisia is the 12th country to order a Super Hercules.