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US approves sale of F-16 aircraft, missiles to the Philippines

US approves sale of F-16 aircraft, missiles to the Philippines

The US State Department has approved a foreign military sale to the government of the Philippines for F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles, AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles and related equipment.

The US State Department has approved a foreign military sale to the government of the Philippines for F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles, AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles and related equipment.

The Philippines Air Force is modernising its fighter aircraft to better support its own air defence and maritime security needs. 

Accordingly, the government of the Philippines has requested to buy 10 F-16C Block 70/72 aircraft and two F-16D Block 70/72 aircraft.

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Principal contractor Lockheed Martin will produce the F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$2.43 billion.

The proposed sale is expected to improve the Philippines’ capability to meet current and future threats by enabling its forces to deploy fighter aircraft with a short range air-to-air missile defence capability.

The government of the Philippines has also requested the purchase of twelve AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II air launched missiles; and two ATM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II Exercise missiles.

Boeing has been contracted to deliver the AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$120 million.

Raytheon Missile Systems Company has also been tasked with supplying 24 AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles; 24 AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs); six Tactical Guidance Units; and 10 Captive Air Training Missile (CATM) Guidance Units.

The estimated cost for the AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles and related equipment is US$42.4 million.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency stressed that the order would not alter the basic military balance in the region.

[Related: In numbers – Australia’s changing attitudes towards China]

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