Bahrain Says It Signed $3.8 Bn Deal for F-16 Fighter Jets
(Source: Agence France-Presse; published Oct 18, 2017)
MANAMA --- Bahrain on Tuesday announced it had signed a $3.8 billion deal with Lockheed Martin for 16 upgraded F-16 fighter jets.
The Bahrain Defence Force signed the agreement with the US company during a defence exhibition in the Gulf kingdom, home to the US Fifth Fleet, the state-run BNA news agency reported.
US President Donald Trump has eased restrictions on arms sales to countries including Bahrain.
Bahrain has been rocked by unrest since 2011, when protesters hit the streets to demand a constitutional monarchy and an elected government.
The tiny Gulf archipelago has a majority Shiite population and has been ruled for more than two centuries by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.
Bahraini authorities have come under harsh criticism for their crackdown on political dissent.
Hundreds of protesters have been arrested since 2011 and a string of high-profile activists and clerics have been jailed or stripped of citizenship.
The government has accused Iran of inciting unrest.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Bahrain had originally requested 19 F-16V aircraft, for which it expected to pay $2,785 million, or $147.6 million each (see below).
However, it is now paying $3.8 billion for only 16 aircraft.
The difference is presumably due to additional equipment and weapons included in the final contract, but details are unlikely to be released unless Bahrain suddenly becomes much more transparent about its defense acquisitions.)
Government of Bahrain – F-16V Aircraft with Support
(Source: US Defense Security Cooperation Agency; issued Sep. 8, 2017)
WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bahrain for F-16V aircraft with support. The estimated cost is $2.785 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
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.
The total estimated program cost is $2.785 billion.
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 proposed sale of these aircraft will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractor will be Lockheed Martin. There are no know offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of at least ten (10) additional U.S. Government representatives and approximately seventy-five (75) contractor representatives to Bahrain.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.