WASHINGTON — Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has asked the United States to purchase the latest 16 F-16 Block 70 fighters, 21 General Electric engines, and accompanying equipment for an estimated $ 4.21 billion. The State Department took action and notified the US Congress of this possible sale.
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The Defense Security Cooperation Agency [DSCA] provides a complete list of requested military equipment by the Government of Jordan. These are 12 F-16 C Block 70 fighters, 4 F-16 D Block 70 fighters, 21 F100-GE-129D or F100-PW229EEP engines, 16 of which will be installed on the ordered fighter jets, and the remaining five as a reserve.
Jordan also wants modular mission computers, AESA scalable Agile Beam radars, embedded global positioning systems, precision positioning systems, several AN / AAQ-33 Sniper Advanced Targeting Pods, and full integration of the Link 16 communications terminal used by all allies. of the United States and NATO members.
The armament of the Jordanian fighter planes includes 20 mm Gatling-style rotary cannon M61A1 Vulcan, at least 100 Joint Direct Attack Munitions, hundreds of bombs, missiles, electronic warfare system, AN / ALE-47 Countermeasure Systems, military cryptographic devices, and more.
F-16C Block 70
“These aircraft will modernize the Jordanian fighter aircraft fleet and support operational requirements associated with regional US-coalition goals, such as countering violent extremist organizations, countering malignant state and non-state actors, and border defense. Jordan will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces,” the DSCA statement said.
The F-16 Block 70/72 is the latest and most advanced version of the F-16. The aircraft combines improved capabilities, including improved Active Electron Scanned Radar [AESA] radar with a new avionics architecture, as well as other structural improvements.
The new production F-16s use structural and modernized capabilities that ensure the operation of the international F-16 fleet until 2060 and beyond. The update increases the life of the fighter by 50% longer than the previous serial F-16 aircraft.
The new F-16 Block 70/72 fighters are being manufactured at Lockheed Martin’s new plant in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that Lockheed opened a new production line at the end of April 2019. “This is an exciting time as we celebrate another important milestone for the F-16 – the world’s most successful, combat-proven 4th generation fighter,” Michele Evans, executive vice president, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics said on April 24, 2019. “The the future is bright for this new home of F-16 production.”
Bahrain became the first customer of the F-16 Block 70 in June 2018, followed by Slovakia, which requested 14 Block 70 aircraft. Bulgaria is the third customer of the F-16 Block 70, paying for eight fighters.
What is RJAF currently doing?
The Royal Jordanian Air Force [RJAF] flies 60 F-16 AM Block 20 MLU fighters. This is the main fighter aircraft of the kingdom, and they have 14 more units of the F-16BM, but they are training aircraft. A total of 18 aircraft are performing reconnaissance and surveillance missions, including the Air Tractor AT-802 and the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan – both US-made.
Jordan has eight transport aircraft, six of which are C-130 Hercules. A total of 107 helicopters have been in service with the RJAF over the years from the United States, Europe, and Russia. The operation of 29 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and 4 Russian Mi-26 heavy-duty helicopters is impressive.
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