Bahrain has been cleared to procure weapons to support its recent contract for Lockheed Martin's Block F-16V Fighting Falcon combat aircraft.
The US State Department has cleared the Foreign Military Sales purchase of air-to-air and air-to-surface weaponry for Bahrain's 36 new and remanufactured F-16Vs valued at USD750 million.
Announced by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 3 May, the approval covers 32 Raytheon AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles; 32 Raytheon AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missiles; 20 Boeing AGM-84 Block 2 Harpoon missiles; two ATM-84L-1 Block 2 Harpoon missiles; 40 Raytheon AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons; 50 Raytheon AGM-88B High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles; 100 Boeing GBU-39 250 lb Small Diameter Bomb; and items for GBU-10, GBU-12, GBU-31, GBU-49, GBU-50, GBU-54, and GBU-56 precision-guided bombs.
The approved sale must now be authorised by Congress before being finalised.
The State Department's weapons approval comes 11 months after Bahrain signed a USD1.12 billion contract for 16 new F-16V Fighting Falcons. The Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) will also upgrade its 20 Block 40 F-16C/D aircraft to this latest standard.
Also referred to as the F-16 Block 70/72, the F-16V features the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar (derived from the F-16E/F Block 60 AN/APG-80 and also known as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar), a new Raytheon mission computer, the Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground-collision avoidance system.
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