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United States approves the sale of F-16 Block 70/72 fighter aircraft to Philippines


According to information released by the United States Department of Defense on June 24, 2021, the U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the Philippines of F-16 Block 70/72 fighter aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $2.43 billion.

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United States approves the sale of of F 16 Block 70 72 fighter aircraft to Philippines 925 001 Drawing of F-16 Block 70/72 fighter aircraft. (Picture source Lockheed Martin)


The Government of the Philippines has requested to buy ten (10) F-16C Block 70/72 aircraft and associated equipment including support equipment and spares; secure communications; cryptographic equipment; aircraft and personnel support and test equipment; integration and test; weapons, ammunition, pylons, launcher adaptors, weapons interfaces, fuel tanks, and attached hardware; travel pods, precision measurement equipment laboratory, calibration, and simulators; spare and repair parts, repair and return services; maps, publications, and technical documentation; studies and surveys; classified / unclassified software and software support; personnel training and training equipment; facilities and facility management, design and/or construction services; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support.

The proposed sale will improve the Philippines’ capability to meet current and future threats by enabling the Philippines to deploy fighter aircraft with precision munitions in support of counterterrorism operations in the southern Philippines, increasing effectiveness and minimizing collateral damage. The Philippines is committed to modernizing its military forces and will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft and services into its armed forces.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed-Martin, Greenville, SC. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

The F-16 Block 70/72 is the latest generation and most advanced F-16 equipped with new capabilities based on the advanced F-16V configuration. It provides a new aircraft structure that lasts 50% longer than previous production F-16 aircraft. Block 70/72 F-16 production began in Greenville, South Carolina, on Nov. 11, 2019

The F-16 Block 70/72 combines capability upgrades, most notably the advanced Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with a new avionics architecture, and structural upgrades to extend the structural life of the aircraft by more than 50 percent beyond that of previous production F-16 aircraft. F-16 Block 70 software takes advantage of technologies not available when earlier Block F-16s were developed and produced. Operational capabilities are enhanced through an advanced datalink, targeting pod and weapons; precision GPS navigation and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).