Morocco will become in 2021 the first country in Africa to use the F16 Viper fighter jets, a well-informed local news outlet reported.
An order has been placed by Morocco’s Royal Air Force to acquire 24 of the multi-purpose fighter jets, le360.ma reported.
“Morocco was one of the first African countries to express interest in acquiring a number of F16 Viper,” said US General Bill Fredericks in charge of the F16 program in a tweet.
The purchase will strengthen Morocco’s Royal Air Force ranking as one of the mightiest fleets in Africa.
Le360.ma said that the transaction was conducted in secrecy during a visit by a delegation of the Royal Armed Forces to the US last year.
A source has also told the website that Morocco will upgrade all its F16 fleets to be up to the Viper fighting falcons.
The United States approved the sale of 24 F-16V fighter aircraft to Morocco for $3.8 billion, the State Department announced last year.
Besides the new Block 70/72 F-16V, equipped with state of the art electronic systems and weaponry, Washington also approved the modernization of 23 F-16C already in the Moroccan air force fleet, for $983 million.
The State Department said the sale would not affect the balance of forces in the region.
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