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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Bahrain Purchases F-16s

The Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) has inked an agreement with Lockheed Martin for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets, according to Bahrain state media.

Bahrain News Agency reported on October 17, 2017, that the BDF had signed a $3.8 billion deal with Lockheed Martin, agreeing to purchase 16 F-16 Fighter jets. The deal was signed during Bahrain's BIDEC 2017 military exhibition.

Air Vice-Marshal Shaikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, who commands the Royal Bahraini Air Force, made the announcement during a press conference at the exhibition.

BNA did not provide further details on the agreement.

Last month, Bahrain was approved for the purchase of 19 F-16V fighter jets, at an estimated cost of $2.79 billion. In addition, the country was approved in a separate announcement for the purchase of an upgrade package for 20 of its current F-16s, which would see them upgraded to the F-16V configuration. That upgrade package carried an estimated value of $1.08 billion.

It is unclear if the announcement of the completion of the F-16 purchase also includes the F-16 upgrade package, though the value of the deal reported by BNA, $3.8 billion, would suggest that both had been agreed to.

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