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C4iSR: Air

Morocco replacing F-16 defensive aids

24 November 2016

The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) has decided to replace the Raytheon Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES) installed on its Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52 multirole fighters with the Harris AN/ALQ-211 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suites (AIDEWS).

Morocco has decided to replace the electronic warfare systems on the F-16s it received in 2011-12. (Lockheed Martin)Morocco has decided to replace the electronic warfare systems on the F-16s it received in 2011-12. (Lockheed Martin)

The RMAF's decision to order the AIDEWS was announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 18 November, when it said that Harris Corp had been awarded a USD91 million contract to deliver an unspecified number of AN/ALQ-211s to Morocco.

The AIDEWS is a family of airborne defensive aids systems that can detect radar-guided missiles and defeat them using radio frequency jamming or by cueing chaff dispensers. It can also be integrated with sensors for detecting laser- and infrared-guided missiles. The system is already installed on F-16s operated by Chile, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and Turkey.

The DoD announcement was vague about which type of AN/ALQ-211 the RMAF will receive, saying this was the first in a series of contracts for version 4, 8, and 9 systems for foreign military customers. The AN/ALQ-211(V)4 is carried internally by F-16 Block 50 and 52 multirole jets, the (V)8 is for VIP aircraft, and the (V)9 is a podded version that can be carried externally by other types of fighter.

A Harris spokesperson told IHS Jane's that the contract covers the delivery of AIDEWS for Moroccan F-16s.

Those aircraft are currently fitted with the ACES, which performs the same role as the AIDEWS. Raytheon announced that order in December 2008, when it said it would supply the systems for the 24 F-16 Block 52 fighters that had been ordered by Morocco. It revealed the following month that the contract was worth USD127 million.

The RMAF received its F-16s in 2011-12 and Raytheon was awarded an additional USD70 million contract in December 2013 to support the ACES delivered to Morocco, Egypt, and Iraq.

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