Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) to procure more F-16s, upgrade its existing fleet

The Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF) is looking to procure additional
batch of F-16 Fighting Falcons from the United States and upgrade its existing fleet.

To that effect, Morocco has requested for twenty-five units of the latest Block 72 fighters worth some $3.8 billion. In response, the US State Department disclosed on 25 March that it is looking at approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Morocco of 25 F-16C/D Block 72 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.787 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of the possible sale on 22 Marc

The Moroccan request includes 29 Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines (includes 4 spares); 26 APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars (includes one spare); 26 Modular Mission Computers (includes one spare); 26 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – JTRS (MIDS-JTRS) with TACAN and ESHI Terminals (includes one spare); 26 LN260 Embedded Global Navigation Systems (EGI) (including one spare); 40 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) (includes five spares); and 26 Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDG) (including one spare).

Weapons requested include 30 M61 Al Vulcan 20mm Guns (including five spares); 50 LAU-129 Multi-Purpose Launchers; 40 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM); three GBU-38/54 JDAM Tail Kits; 50 Paveway II guided bombs, and 60 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB I).

Also included are 26 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Pods, 26 AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Systems, 26 Advanced Identification Friend/Foe systems, 26 AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS defensive aids systems and six DB-110 Advanced Reconnaissance Systems.

At the same time as the request for 25 new fighters, Morocco requested upgrades to its 23 existing F-16s, which would bring them to F-16V standard at a cost of $985.2 million. Congress was also notified of the possible sale on 22 March.

The requested buy includes 26 APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars, 26 Modular Mission Computers, 26 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems – JTRS (MIDS-JTRS) with TACAN and ESHI Terminals, 26 LN260 Embedded Global Navigation Systems (EGI), 26 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems II, 26 Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDG), 50 LAU-129 Multi-Purpose Launchers; and 26 AN/AAQ-33 Sniper Pods.

Electronic systems include 26 AN/ALQ‑213 EW Management Systems; 26 Advanced Identification Friend/Foe systems; 26 AN/ALQ‑211 AIDEWS defensive aids systems; and six DB-110 Advanced Reconnaissance Systems.

The State Department said the proposed sale will contribute to Morocco’s self-defence capabilities. “The purchase will improve interoperability with the United States and enhance Morocco’s ability to undertake coalition operations, as it has done in the past in flying sorties against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.”

Should the deal be concluded, Lockheed Martin will be the prime contractor.

Darek Liam

Darek Liam is the North African editor for AMB, where he writes about the intersection of Technology and national security. He has been covering defense and national security issues for more than a decade, previously as African Union correspondent.

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