May 31, 2008 (by Asif Shamim) - On Friday, Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Co. was awarded a fixed contract valued at $233.6M to begin production of 24 block 52 F-16s for Morocco.
BAF F-16A block 15 #FA-118 seen above a magnificent landscape over Morocco in the vicinity of Meknes were the Belgians practise low-level flying every year. [BAF photo]
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA
) had notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Morocco
back in December 2007. The total value of the sale will be $2.4 billion and contracts the sale of the jets, engines, support equipment and associated weapons.
"We are pleased the Royal Moroccan Air Force selected the F-16 to modernize its fighter force and look forward to working with them as the newest member of the F-16 family," said John Larson, vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics´s F-16 program. "The F-16 provides the Kingdom of Morocco with the world's most affordable and technologically advanced multirole fighter available today, with the added benefit of interoperability with the U.S. Air Force and many other air forces."
Lockheed Martin will have a backlog of about 125 F-16s to produce at its Fort Worth plant. Productions have notably reduced as the backlog has decreased. Company officials expect 30 jets to produced this year and with the existing backlog keeping the production line going till 2011.