The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has notified Congress of a $2.78bn potential foreign military sale of F-16V aircraft with support to the Bahraini Government.

Approved by the US State Department, the proposed sale covers 19 F-16V aircraft; 19 M61 Vulcan 20mm gun systems; 22 F-16V F-110-GE-129 engines, including three spares; and 22 APG-83 active electronically scanned array radars, as well as three spares.

Bahrain has also requested 19 AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS systems, 38 LAU-118A launchers, 42 AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS radio or equivalent and 22 AN/APX-126 advanced identification friend or foe (AIFF) system or equivalent among others.

"The upgraded F-16Vs will help the RBAF to sustain operations, meet training requirements and support transition training for pilots."

The department has also approved Bahrain’s request for the upgrade of 20 existing F-16 Block 40 aircraft to F-16V configuration for an estimated cost of $1.08bn.

This sale also includes 25 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper pods, two AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles, two AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM), five KMU-572 joint direct attack munition (JDAM) tailkits, two AGM-84 Harpoon exercise missiles and two GMU-152 or FMU-139 fuses among others.

The Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) will use the capability to enhance its homeland defence, meet current and future threats, as well as improve interoperability with the US and other regional allies. 

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The upgraded F-16Vs will help the RBAF to sustain operations, meet training requirements and support transition training for pilots.

Lockheed Martin has been appointed as the prime contractor for both the sales.