US to sell 25 F-16 Fighting Falcons to Morocco

27 March 2019 (Last Updated March 27th, 2019 12:50)

The US State Department has granted approval for a potential sale of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 Fighting Falcons to Morocco in a deal valued at around $3.78bn.

The US State Department has granted approval for a potential sale of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 Fighting Falcons to Morocco in a deal valued at around $3.78bn.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the potential foreign military sale.

In addition to the aircraft, Morocco seeks to acquire related equipment that includes 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines, 26 APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, and 26 modular mission computers.

The sale also includes 26 Link-16 multifunctional information distribution systems cvbdfghjJTRS (MIDS-JTRS) with TACAN and ESHI terminals, 26 LN260 Embedded global navigation systems (EGI), 40 joint helmet mounted cueing systems (JHMCS), and 26 improved programmable display generators (iPDG).

Weapons to be sold under the possible sale include 30 M61 Al Vulcan 20mm guns, 50 LAU-129 multi-purpose launchers, 40 AIM-120C-7 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM), 40 AIM-120C-7 guidance sections, and three GBU-38/54 JDAM tail kits.

The US Government will also sell 26 AN/ALQ-213 EW management systems, secure communications and cryptographic precision navigation equipment, one joint mission planning system, 26 AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS, and six DB-110 advanced reconnaissance systems.

“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.”

In addition, the transaction will offer personnel training, engineering, technical and logistical support services.

Furthermore, Morocco has requested to upgrade its 23 existing F-16C/D Block 50/52s to the F‑16V configuration.

This sale also includes associated equipment and is estimated to be valued at $985.2m.

In a statement, DSCA said: “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.”

Through the acquisition of the aircraft and weapons, Morocco will be able to improve its self-defence capabilities.

The sale will also improve Morocco’s interoperability with the US and other regional allies, as well as its ability to undertake coalition operations.

The North African nation already operates an F‑16 Fighting Falcons fleet. Lockheed Martin has been named the prime contractor for the transactions.