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Oman to purchase 12 additional F-16s

December 15, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - The US Department of Defense on December 14th, has announced that Lockheed Martin have been awarded $600M fixed-price contract for a Foreign Military Sales program that will provide the government of Oman 12 additional F-16 C/D block 50 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft.

RAFO F-16C block 50 #811 is strolling down on the runway at NAS Forth Worth on May 7th, 2008. [Photo by Keith Robinson]

The order consists of 10 single seater 'C-Models' and 2 'D-Models' and in addition to assembling the aircraft at its Fort Worth site in Texas, Lockheed will also provide associated support equipment and logistics services, the DOD said. Work under the deal should be concluded by November 2016.

The F-16 production line at Fort Worth seems to have improved as this is the second order to come in matter of weeks after Iraq also placed a follow on order for 18 additional F-16s. Just six months ago, Lockheed officials were warning that F-16 production could come to a halt by the end of 2013. With these new orders that same line will extend production to well into 2015.

Oman's surprise selection appears to have dashed the UK's hopes of selling Eurofighter Typhoons to the nation.

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) currently has 12 F-16C/D block 50 aircraft (8 'C-models' & 4 'D-Models'), delivered as part of Peace A'sama A'safiya Program, thus making the country the 23rd customer for the F-16 and the 5th Arab airforce F-16 customer.

Additional images:

RAFO F-16D block 50 #801 is being spotted during its first official flight at Fort Worth. [LMTAS photo ]

RAFO F-16C block 50 #814 of 18 sqn seen on delivery at Thumrait AFB wearing its US transit markings on June 17th, 2006. [Photo by Ted Bayliss]