WASHINGTON (AFP) – US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin is being awarded an 841.9 million dollar contract to produce 24 F-16 aircraft for Morocco, which ordered the jets in 2008, the Pentagon said.
Lockheed also won contracts to supply the Pentagon with “advanced counter measure system electronic warfare system, along with associated support equipment, alternate mission equipment and support elements,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
The total value of the contract between the United States and Morocco is estimated at around 2.4 billion dollars, not all of which will be handled by Lockheed.
Other firms that manufacture or supply parts and equipment or can train technicians will share in the contract.
The Rafale jet produced by France’s Dassault was among those that competed for the Moroccan contract.
Dassault has yet to sell any of the aircraft abroad, but French Defense Minister Herve Morin said last week he remained “resolutely optimistic” about the possibilities of exporting Rafale, Dassault Aviation’s “multirole” combat jet.
“We are having advanced discussion with the United Arab Emirates, Brazil and also other partners,” Morin told France’s La Tribune newspaper.