Jordan has signed an offer and acceptance (LOA) letter covering the purchase of eight Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 aircraft. The LOA agreement was signed by the country’s armed forces chief, Major General Youssef Al-Hanaiiti, and the commander of the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF), Brigadier General Mohamed Hiasat.
The State Department approved the sale of 12 F-16Cs and 4 F-16D fighters to Jordan in early February for $ 4.21 billion. The reduction in the number of purchases now may be due to budget considerations. The aircraft will be built at Lockheed Martin’s new F-16 plant in Greenville, South Carolina.
“This F-16 acquisition reflects more than 70 years of U.S. cooperation and decades of partnership with Lockheed Martin,” said Amy Burnett, vice president of business development at Integrated Fighter Group. “The history of our partnership with Jordan strengthens regional security and helps protect citizens through 21st century security technologies that support important missions today and in the future.”
No details have been given about the breakdown of the F-16C single- and F-16D two-seater and although the Block 70 is an alternative powered by General Electric F110-GE-129D instead of the alternative Pratt & Whitney F100-PW. -229 EEP Block 72, Powerplant choice not yet confirmed.
The Block 70/72, and similar F-16V upgrade packages, have revived the F-16 through the integration of sophisticated systems. At the center of the reform is the Northrop Grumman APG-83 scalable agile beam radar with an active electronically scanned array. In the February approval document, Jordan was cleared to receive a comprehensive equipment package including the Lockheed Martin AAQ-33 sniper targeting pod. Authorized weapons include a range of precision-guided bomb kits, such as the EGBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II and the GBU-54 Laser JDAM.
RJAF has operated F-16s since 1997, when incidentally 33 former U.S. Air Force F-16A / B ADFs (Air Defense Fighters) were delivered. Some of the later arrivals were upgraded by Turkish aerospace in the late 2000s as part of the Mid-Life Update (MLU) program, when most of the previous F-16 ADFs were shipped to Pakistan. Between 2009 and 2017, the Jordanian navy was inflated by 46 F-16AM / BM MLU aircraft, acquired in four batches from the Belgian and Dutch air forces. They work with Al Azra Nos. 1, 2 and 6 Squadron.
This F-16BM from RJAF’s No. 1 Squadron had previously flown with the Belgian Air Force. (Photo: US Air Force)