The US State Department has approved over $1 billion worth of potential sustainment support deals for the upkeep of United Arab Emirates (UAE) C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft and Belgian F-16 fighters.
The UAE has requested to buy follow-on sustainment and support of C-17 fleet to include aircraft hardware and software modifications and other items that would have an estimated cost of $980.4 million.
“The proposed renewal of C-17 aircraft support will provide the government of the UAE with a credible defense capability, provide strategic and humanitarian airlift, and ensure interoperability with US forces,” the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.
Should a definitive agreement be reached, the prime contractor would be Boeing, who delivered a total of 8 Globemasters to the UAE by 2012.
In addition to the C-17 sustainment clearance, the State Department also approved a sustainment package for the Belgian Air Force’s fleet of F-16 fighters for an estimated cost of $127 million.
The support that Belgium requested will be added to a previously implemented case. The original FMS case, valued at $98.4 million, included F-16 sustainment, consisting of AN/ARC-210 radios, aircraft and munitions support and flight simulator support, among other items.
“The proposed sale will improve Belgium’s capability to meet current and future threats by maintaining its F-16 fleet in combat-ready status and providing rotational forces to NATO’s Eastern flank,” the DSCA said.
The Belgian Air Force was one of the first international customers of the F-16, having ordered a total of 160 F-16s. The country is now procuring the 34 F-35 fighters that will eventually replace the F-16.