The U.S. Department of State has approved a possible sale to Morocco of F-16C/D aircraft and upgrades of its existing fleet that could total almost $4.8 billion. According to the statement issued, Morocco had requested to purchase 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.787 billion.
The related equipment is expected to upgrade the country’s aircraft fleet to suit and attain better combat capabilities. The equipment includes 30 M61 Al Vulcan 20mm Guns (includes 5 spares), 40 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 60 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs, 26 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Pods, spares, practice equipment, management systems, navigation equipment, support and integration a well as contractor engineering and logistical support services.
Additionally, Morocco already operates an F-16 fleet and also requested an upgrade for 23 of its F-16 aircraft to the F-16V configuration at an estimated cost of $985.2 million. The order is to be delivered by a leading company in the US, Lockheed Martin and will enhance the cooperation between the African nation and the US.
The approval of the purchase and upgrade is very elemental in improving interoperability with the United States and other regional allies and enhance Morocco’s ability to undertake coalition operations, as it has done in the past in flying sorties against ISIS in Syria and Iraq as well as Africa.