Morocco To Receive Final Batch Of F-16 Aircraft

  • 12:00 AM, August 31, 2012
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Lockheed Martin has dispatched the final three of 24 F-16 aircraft ordered by Morocco. The final F-16 performed its first flight on March 15 from Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base and the final the three Block 52 single-seat aircraft left the base on August 22. “The delivery of these aircraft places Morocco among the very elite group of air forces of the world who operate the advanced multirole F-16,” said Ralph D Heath, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics business. In December 2009 Morocco placed an US$841.9 million contract with Lockheed Martin for 18 single-seat F-16Cs and six two-seat F-16Ds. Morocco is in the process of upgrading its armed forces and is buying large amounts of military equipment, including fighters, trainer aircraft and frigates. As almost all significant combat equipment was acquired between 1978 and 1981, Morocco is moving ahead with an upgrade programme for its Mirage F1s and is also engaged in the acquisition of new equipment that will ensure the air arm remains credible and effective. The most important type is the F-16, which was designed to keep up with Algeria's purchase in 2007-2008 of 28 Su-30MKAs. "We are modernizing our fleet and we've chosen the F-16, not only because it is a high-quality airplane, but also because of the close relationship we have with the United States," said Deputy Inspector of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Brigadier General Abdelali Houari.
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