Jordan finalises F-16 Block 70 order

Jordan has officially signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the purchase of eight new-production F-16 Block 70s.

Finalisation of the deal was announced by the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, on June 16. The new aircraft for operation by the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) will be built on Lockheed Martin’s production line in Greenville, South Carolina.

F-16 Block 70
An impression of an F-16 Block 70. This latest variant has just been ordered by Jordan. Lockheed Martin

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had announced on February 3 this year that US State Department approval had been granted for the sale of 16 F-16C/D Block 70s to Jordan. That approval covered 12 single-sea F-16Cs and four twin-seat F-16Ds plus associated equipment at an estimated total cost of $4.2bn.

The value of the final deal was not disclosed, although it will be substantially lower than the DSCA estimate, as it only involved eight rather than 16 aircraft. The mix between single- and two-seat aircraft in the initial eight-aircraft order was also not revealed.

Aimee Burnett, Lockheed Martin’s vice president, Integrated Fighter Group Business Development, said: “This F-16 acquisition reflects over 70 years of US co-operation and decades of partnership with Lockheed Martin. Our history partnering with Jordan strengthens regional security and helps protect citizens through 21st century security technologies that support critical missions today and into the future.”

The RJAF already operates a fleet of older model F-16A/AM/B/BMs acquired second-hand from various sources, including the Belgian Air Force, Royal Netherlands Air Force, US Air Force and US Air National Guard.