Jordan is to receive eight new-build Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 fighters after signing an agreement with the manufacturer.

The Middle Eastern country sealed the acquisition by signing a letter of offer and acceptance for the new-build aircraft, says Lockheed.

“This F-16 acquisition reflects over 70 years of US cooperation and decades of partnership with Lockheed Martin,” says Lockheed vice-president Aimee Burnett.

“Our history partnering with Jordan strengthens regional security and helps protect citizens through 21st Century security technologies that support critical missions today and into the future.”

The fighters will be produced on Lockheed’s new F-16 line in Greenville, South Carolina. Lockheed did not provide a value for the deal, or state when the fighters will be delivered.

In February, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved the potential sale to Jordan of 16 F-16 Block 70 fighters – eight more than in the Lockheed announcement – with a deal value of $4.21 billion.

This package was to include 12 single-seat F-16C Block 70s and four two-seat Block 70s.

Along with the jets, the Middle Eastern nation had requested 100 KMU-556 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) tail kits for 907kg (2,000lb)-class GBU-31 bombs, 102 KMU-572 JDAM tail kits for 226kg-class laser JDAM GBU-54 bombs and 100 MAU-209 computer control groups for Raytheon Paveway II GBU-10 bombs.

Cirium fleets data shows that Amman is a major operator of F-16s, with 59 F-16A/Bs with an average age of 38.2 years.

Including Jordan, six countries have orders for a total of 136 F-16 Block 70s. Others that have ordered the latest version of the venerable type are Bahrain, Bulgaria, Morocco, Slovakia, and Taiwan.