Rabat - Morocco will receive its first shipment of 12 F-16V fighting falcons in 2021.
Rabat – Morocco will receive its first shipment of 12 F-16V fighting falcons in 2021.
Morocco ordered the new fighter planes from the US military industry giant Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the newest and most advanced aircraft, F-16 Block 70, according to Moroccan outlet Le360.
According to Dutch military magazine, Scramble Magazine, the Moroccan government made plans to buy F-16 Block 70 fighting falcons to reinforce its air fleet in May. The warplanes will be added to Morocco’s current 23 Block fighter planes: 15 F-16C Block 52s and 8 F-16D Block 52s.
Morocco will be the first country in Africa to own the F-16 fighting falcon, commonly called a viper, giving it air superiority on a continental scale.
Lockheed-Martin recently exhibited the F-16V at the 2018 Marrakech Airshow.
The F-16V (Viper) fighter was revealed at Singapore Airshow in February 2012.
Morocco’s purchase of the fighting falcons was concluded in secrecy in late 2017, following a visit by a delegation of the Royal Armed Forces to Washington, D.C, with several industrial defense groups.
It is reported that Morocco is planning to modernize all its F16s to be adapted to the newest viper standard.
Morocco is a loyal consumer of American military equipment, as it constitutes 52 percent of Morocco’s total imports.
Last year, Business Insider estimated the F-16Vs cost $80 million each, costing Morocco approximately $960 million for the order. Moreover, simply operating a fighter plane for one hour costs approximately $8,000.
Algeria remains the largest importer of military equipment in Africa. It acquires most of its arms from Russia, spending $10 billion.