Oman has placed a follow-on order with Lockheed Martin for a second batch of 12 F-16C/D Block 50 fighters, with the development likely to further delay the UK's hopes of selling the Eurofighter Typhoon to the nation.
Announcing the deal in a 14 December contract notification, the US Department of Defense said Muscat will acquire 10 single-seat fighters and a pair of two-seat trainers under a deal worth $600 million. These will join eight and four of the respective types already in service with the Royal Air Force of Oman.
© Lockheed Martin
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 conclude by November 2016, it added. Lockheed officials named Oman as a possible repeat buyer for the F-16 during last month's Dubai air show.
Oman has also been considering a possible Typhoon acquisition since around 2008. British sources had recently suggested that a government-to-government deal could be concluded with the UK in early 2012, but the nation's fresh investment in the F-16 could result in this being delayed further.
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Source: Flight International