WASHINGTON (AFP) — US defense contractor Lockheed Martin said Friday it had been awarded a 233.6-million-dollar contract to supply Morocco with 24 F-16 fighter jets.
The military jet contract was awarded by the US government. Washington has to clear the sale of advanced military equipment to foreign states.
"Morocco will acquire a Block 52 configuration of the F-16C/D aircraft tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Royal Moroccan Air Force (RMAF)," Lockheed said in a statement.
The deal includes the 24 fighter jets, mission equipment and a support package from Lockheed Martin and other US and international contractors, the defense contractor said.
The F-16 jet has been widely used by the US Air Force. It is an advanced fighter jet that can operate day and night in all environments and weather, according to Lockheed.
Washington's approval of the deal gives Lockheed the green light to start production on the 24 new jets which will be delivered to the government of the north African state.
"We are pleased the Royal Moroccan Air Force selected the F-16 to modernize its fighter force and look forward to working with them as the newest member of the F-16 family," said John Larson, vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' F-16 program.
F-16 jets are capable of flying at twice the speed of sound at an altitude of 12,200 meters (40,000 feet). The fighter jet has a range of 925 kilometers (575 miles) and can be outfitted to carry rapid-fire cannons, air-to-air missiles, and laser and satellite-guided weapons.
Lockheed last year beat out French manufacturer Dassault, which had tried to sell its Rafale fighter to the North African kingdom.
Other countries, including The Netherlands, Pakistan and Israel, have also bought F-16 jets from Lockheed.
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