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Jordan gets green light to buy 16 F-16 fighters from the US

Jordanian F-16
US Air Force file photo of a Royal Jordanian Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon

The US State Department has approved a potential sale of up to 16 F-16 Block 70 aircraft to the government of Jordan.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said the sale, should it be concluded, would have an estimated cost of $4.21 billion. It is worth noting that the final quantities and prices released with the approvals are subject to change.

In addition to the 12 single-seat and four two-seat airframes, Jordan also requested active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, GPS INS and IFF systems, and targeting pods.

Other equipment that are part of the approval include M61A1 Vulcan cannons, Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and laser JDAM tail kits for GBU-31 and GBU-54 bombs, as well as Paveway II bombs.

“The proposed sale will improve Jordan’s capability to meet current and future threats by ensuring continued interoperability with US and coalition forces,” the DSCA release said.

“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 malign state and non-state actors, and border defense.”

Jordan already operates a fleet of F-16 aircraft that were either donated from the US in the 1990s, or acquired used from Belgium and the Netherlands. Over the years, the majority of Jordan’s F-16 fighters were upgraded to the Mid-Life Update (MLU) level, similar in capability to the F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft.