Morocco Bolsters its F16 Jets with AMRAAM Missiles

Morocco will bolster the defense capabilities of its F16 fighter jets with the acquisition of advanced medium range air-to-air AMRAAM missiles, the Pentagon said in a press release.

A contract has been signed between Morocco’s air force and the US defense contractor, Raytheon, providing for the acquisition of the air-to-air missiles as well as for technical support including special tooling, test equipment, spares and telemetry kits, said the Pentagon press release.

The Pentagon added that Morocco, Norway, Japan, Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, Poland, Indonesia, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Qatar, under a $25.7 million contract modification, will receive special tooling and test equipment, with work on that contract expected to be completed by December 2020.

The AMRAAM is preferred over other types of similar armament due to the operational flexibility in a wide variety of combat scenarios, including air-to-air and ground-to-air engagement.

In January 2017, The Royal Moroccan Air Force announced a $91 million deal to upgrade the F16 fleet with electronic warfare systems supplied by Harris Corporation.

In December 2009, Morocco placed a $841.9 million contract with Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics to purchase 18 single-seat F-16Cs and six two-seat F-16Ds, as part of a program to upgrade its armed forces.

Morocco’s F-16s are equipped with a variety of extra equipment, including Lockheed Martin Sniper targeting pods, Goodrich DB-110 airborne reconnaissance pods and Raytheon’s Advanced Countermeasures Electronic System (ACES).
Armament includes AIM-9X Block II Sidewinders with lock on after launch capability, AGM-65D Maverick air-to-surface missiles and Enhanced GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb kits.

The Moroccan Air Force are deployed in the Bengrir air base near Marrakech.

The delivery of these fighter jets places Morocco among an elite group of air forces that operate the advanced multirole F-16 aircraft.

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