The Thai Government has approved the purchase of 16 used Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs for the country's air force.

The deal is understood to be worth about $133 million, with $28 million of this expected to be paid in spare parts bought as part of a cancelled, eight-unit Boeing F/A-18 Hornet order. That procurement collapsed with the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

The aircraft will be RaytheonAIM-120 AMRAAM-capable, although no missiles are included in the deal. A letter of agreement was signed between the Thai air force and US Government in May. The aircraft have about 20 years service life remaining.

Bangkok is also understood to be preparing to buy two used Sikorsky S-70C Black Hawks from Brunei. The helicopters will be used by the prime minister's office for VIP flights, replacing two air force-operated Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Pumas.

Source: Flight International