US proposes Lockheed Martin F-16 sale to Morocco

Washington DC
Source: Flightglobal.com
This story is sourced from Flightglobal.com

US Congress has been notified of the possible sale of 24 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighters and 24 Hawker Beechcraft T-6B trainers to Morocco, together valued at up to $2.6 billion.

French officials announced in October that Morocco had rejected its offer of Dassault Rafale fighters and selected the F-16, but the notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency is the first formal acknowledgement by the US government.

The DSCA says Morocco has requested the possible purchase of 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft with Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)9 radars and either General Electric F110-129 or Pratt & Whitney F100-229 improved-performance engines.

The $2.4 billion sale would include conformal fuel tanks, either Lockheed AAQ-33 Sniper or Northrop AAQ-28 Litening targeting pods, BAE Systems or Goodrich reconnaissance pods and a choice of self-protection electronic warfare suites. Helmet-mounted cueing systems, Link 16 datalinks and Have Quick secure radios are also included.

 
Morocco's F-16s would feature conformal fuel tanks © Lockheed Martin

With more than 4,500 aircraft delivered, Lockheed currently has a backlog of 116 F-16 orders and production is planned to continue into 2012. The Royal Moroccan Air Force currently operates Dassault Mirage F1 and Northrop F-5E fighters.

The proposed $200 million sale of 24 T-6Bs would be the first for the improved version of the US Air Force/Navy T-6A Texan II turboprop trainer. The T-6B features an integrated glass cockpit supplied by CMC Electronics.

The DSCA says the T-6B would replace the Royal Moroccan Air Force's Cessna T-37 jet trainers, which suffer high fuel and maintenance costs and low mission-capable rates. The T-6s would reduce fuel requirements by 66%, it says.