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Bahrain to buy 19 new F-16Vs and upgrade 20 current Block 40s

September 8, 2017 (by Asif Shamim) - The US State Department has approved a Foreign Military Sale to Bahrain for 19 F-16V fighter aircraft estimated to cost US$2.785 billion besides upgrading its 20 existing F-16 block 40 aircraft to F-16V configuration for US$1.082 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on September 8th.

The Government of Bahrain requested to upgrade its existing twenty F-16 block 40 aircraft to the F-16V configuration. The requested sale comprises of:

  • 23x F-110-GE-129 engines (includes 3 spares);
  • 23x APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (includes 3 spares);
  • 23x Modular Mission Computers (includes 3 spares);
  • 23x Embedded Global Navigation Systems/LN260 EGI (includes 3 spares);
  • 23x Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDGs) (includes 3 spares);
  • 40x LAU-129 launchers;
  • 25x AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Pods;
  • 2x AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles;
  • 2x AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM);
  • 2x WGU-43 Guidance Control Unit (GBU) Guidance Control Unit (GCU) (for GBU-24 Paveway III);
  • 2x BSU-84 Air Foil Group (AFG) (for GBU-24 Paveway III);
  • 5x KMU-572 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) Tailkits (for GBU-38 JDAM and GBU-54 Laser JDAM);
  • 2x GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) Guided Test Vehicles (GTV);
  • 2x AGM-84 Harpoon Exercise Missiles;
  • 3x MAU-210 ECCG (for GBU-50 Enhanced Paveway II);
  • 3x BLU-109 Inert Bomb Bodies;
  • 4x MK-82/BLU-111 Inert Bomb Bodies; and
  • 2x GMU-152 or FMU-139 Fuzes

This sale also includes:

  • 1x Joint Mission Planning System,
  • 1x F-16V simulator,
  • 20x AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS Systems,
  • 1x avionics level test station,
  • 6x DB-110 Advanced Reconnaissance Systems,
  • 2x LAU-118A Launchers,
  • 45x AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS Radio or equivalent,
  • 23x Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) systems or equivalent;
  • 23x cryptographic appliques;
  • 2x CATM-9L/M,
  • 2x AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM),
  • 3x MXU-651 AFG (for GBU-50 Enhanced Paveway II),
  • 4x DSU-38 Precision Laser Guidance sets (PLGS) (for GBU-54 Laser JDAM),
  • 4x AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW) Captive Flight Vehicles (CFV),
  • 3x MK-84/BLU-117 Inert Bomb Bodies,
  • 2x FMU-152 D-1 Inert Fuzes,
  • 3x BRU-57 Bomb Racks,
  • 2x BRU-61 Bomb Racks for SDB,
  • 2x ADU-890 SDB adapter cable for CMBRE,
  • 2x ADU-891 AMRAAM/AIM-9X adapter cable for CMBRE

Telemetry for all flight test assets secure communication equipment, spares and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support services, containers, missile support and test equipment, integration test, site survey, design, construction studies/analyses/services, associate operations, maintenance, training, support facilities, cybersecurity, critical computer resources support, force protection, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The total estimated program cost is $1.082 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally which has been and continues to be an important security partner in the region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) plays a significant role in Bahrain's defense.

The proposed sale improves Bahrain's capability to meet current and future threats. Bahrain will use this capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. The upgraded F-16Vs will provide an increase in the capability of existing aircraft to sustain operations, meet training requirements, and support transition training for pilots to the upgraded aircraft. This upgrade will improve interoperability with U.S. forces and other regional allies. Bahrain will have no difficulty absorbing this upgrade into its armed forces.

The proposed sale will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of at least five additional U.S. Government representatives to Bahrain.

Courtesy of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Additional images:

RBAF F-16C block 40 #101 from 1 FS displays a new painted tail. The scheme incorporates a low-vis Falcon on the tail as well as more subdued roundel and flag symbols. [RBAF photo]

RBAF F-16C block 40 #115 from 1 sqn is flying over some desert terrain in the early nineties. [RBAF photo]

RBAF F-16C block 40 #206 from 2 sqn is parked on the ramp at Shaikh Isa AFB. [Photo by Milslides APL]