BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – The Royal Moroccan Air Force will receive 24 U.S.-made F-16 combat aircraft, after the Pentagon approved the deal with Lockheed Martin, a military equipment manufacturer.
The first phase of the deal, estimated at $4.9 billion, approved by the Pentagon on August 14, includes the manufacture of 90 F-16s until 2026, of which Taiwan is scheduled to acquire 66, and Morocco is 24.
Lockheed Martin reported the Kingdom of Morocco’s request for a new squadron of F-16 fighter jets, under the U.S. Military Assistance Program (EDA), which allows U.S. allies to benefit from surplus defense equipment.
The U.S. aircraft industry giant explained, “The Royal Air Force will get a squadron of F-16B fighters for free,” adding that “the fighters will be sent to the Royal Air School in Marrakesh to train maintenance crews and the Royal Air School students on the basics of F-16 fighters.”
The Moroccan authorities expressed their desire to obtain an updated version of the F-16 aircraft, which features an advanced computer in addition to an active radar.