August 3, 2011 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The first four of 24 new block 52 F-16s produced for the Royal Moroccan Air Force have left the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas, en route to Morocco.
The first four of 24 Lockheed Martin advanced block 52 F-16s produced for the Royal Moroccan Air Force have left the Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth en route to Morrocco. Airframe #08-8001 is seen here during its first flight on October 11th, 2010. [Photo by David Drais]
An arrival ceremony will be held in Morocco
later this week.
The first 22 aircraft will be ferried over the period of August 2011 to December 2012. The last ferry will occur sometime in 2013 for the last two aircraft.
Of these last two aircraft, one jet, flown by USAF pilots, will be used for integration and characterization flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base. The other jet is a spare for the integration and characterization flight tests. These last two aircraft will be held in the US for up to a year after acceptance before final delivery to Morocco.
The total value of the deal with the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF
) is estimated at around $2.4 billion dollars, not all of which will be handled by Lockheed.
Morocco was the 25th nation to buy the F-16.