Egypt has received the first of 20 F-16 Fighting Falcons ordered from the United States in 2010. Deliveries are set to conclude this year in spite of opposition from US lawmakers.
On January 22, four F-16s departed for Egypt from Fort Worth, Texas, according to Fox News. In December 2009 the US and Egyptian governments signed an agreement for Block 50/52 F-16s to upgrade the existing fleet. In March 2010 Lockheed Martin was awarded a contract to build 16 F-16Cs and four F-16Ds.
Egypt was the first Arab country to purchaseF-16s through a Foreign Military Sales program called Peace Vector. The Egyptian Air Force received a total of 42 F-16s in its first order in 1980 and since then has purchased five more lots of aircraft, for a total of 240 F-16 Fighting Falcons.
The recent deal has caused concern in the United States amid reports that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is cracking down on protestors and changing the constitution. The F-16 deal was made when US ally Hosni Mubarak was still in power.
Egypt receives about $1.3 billion annually in military aid financing, per the terms of the 1976 Camp David Accords that resulted in a peace agreement with Israel. Having received close to $40 billion in military aid, Egypt is the second largest recipient of US foreign aid.
The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) F-16s will be powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 EEP (Engine Enhancement Package) engines. The EAF’s first 82 F-16s were F-16 A/B Block 15s and F-16 C/D Block 32s. All used earlier models of Pratt & Whitney’s F100 engine engines. The Peace Vector III-VI deals from 1991-2001 delivered 138 F-16 C/D Block 40 fighters with General Electric’s higher thrust F110 engine.
The Egyptian F-16s will be equipped with Lockheed Martin’s Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP), which features a laser designator, Forward Looking InfraRed imager and CCD camera as well as a video datalink.
Egypt has ordered the Raytheon Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES) for its new fighters as part of the US$3.2 billion deal for the 20 aircraft. The ACES integrated electronic warfare suite comprises a radar warning receiver, jammer and chaff-flare dispenser.
In November 2010 Goodrich Corporation received a contract for its DB-110 airborne reconnaissance system for Egypt’s new F-16s. Goodrich’s DB-110 digital, real-time, tactical reconnaissance system captures images day and night using electro-optical/infrared sensor technology. Images can then be transmitted in real-time to analysts on the ground. Egypt is the eighth country to select Goodrich’s DB-110 system.