The US government has agreed to a potential sale worth nearly $4 billion of the latest F-16V fighter jet variant to Bahrain, the State Department announced.
In addition to the purchase, the country are seeking an upgrade to 20 of its existing Block 40 variants to the F-16V configuration.
The Bahrain government also wants to buy TOW anti-tank missiles and fast patrol boats, according to additional press releases.
According to a release:
“The Government of Bahrain has requested a possible sale of nineteen (19) F-16V Aircraft; nineteen (19) M61 Vulcan 20mm Gun Systems; twenty-two (22) F-16V F-110-GE-129 Engines (includes 3 spares); twenty-two (22) APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array Radars (includes 3 spares); twenty-two (22) Modular Mission Computers (includes 3 spares); twenty-two (22) Embedded Global Navigation Systems/LN260 EGI (includes 3 spares); twenty-two (22) Improved Programmable Display Generators (iPDG) (includes 3 spares); and thirty-eight (38) LAU-129 Launchers. This sale also includes nineteen (19) AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS Systems, thirty-eight (38) LAU-118A Launchers, forty-two (42) AN/ARC-238 SINCGARS Radio or equivalent, twenty-two (22) AN/APX-126 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (AIFF) system or equivalent, twenty-two (22) cryptographic appliques, secure communication equipment, spares and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, simulators, publications and technical documentation, U.S. Government and contractor technical support services, containers, missile support and test equipment, original equipment manufacturer integration and test, U.S. Government and contractor technical support and training services, site survey, design, construction studies/analysis/services, associated operations/maintenance/ training/support facilities, cybersecurity, critical computer resources support, force protection and other related elements of logistics and program support.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a major Non-NATO ally, which has been and continues to be an important security partner in the region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Royal Bahraini Air Force (RBAF) plays a significant role in Bahrain’s defense.
The proposed sale improves Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future threats. Bahrain will use the capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. This purchase of F-16Vs will improve interoperability with United States and other regional allies. Bahrain employs 20 older F-16 Block 40s and will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.”
The F-16V includes a new cockpit centre pedestal display, a modernised mission computer and a high-capacity Ethernet data bus, according to Lockheed.