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Jordan approved for further F-16 purchase

Jordan is set to receive 16 of the latest variant F-16s to add to the 61 older models (pictured) it already fields. (Janes/Patrick Allen)

The United States has approved the sale of further 16 Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft to Jordan, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 3 February.

The State Department approval covers 12 single-seat F-16C Block 70 and four twin-seat F-16D Block 70 aircraft, as well as related equipment, weapons, services, and training for an estimated USD4.21 billion.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major non-NATO ally [MNNA],” the DSCA said in its notification. “The proposed sale will improve Jordan's capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring continued interoperability with US and coalition forces. These aircraft will modernise the Jordanian fighter aircraft fleet and support operational requirements associated with regional US-coalition goals, such as countering violent extremist organisations, countering malign state and non-state actors, and border defence.”

As noted by Janes World Air Forces , the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) fields 43 F-16A and 18 F-16B Fighting Falcons. The proposed procurement of additional aircraft must first be approved by the US Congress before a contract can be issued.

The F-16 is the core of Jordan's combat aviation capabilities, having received its first second-hand aircraft from the United States in 1997.

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