US will deliver 8 advanced F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt
Cairo: The US will deliver eight F-16 fighter aircraft to Egypt as part of America's USD 1.3 billion commitment to upgrade its security and military to back the key Arab nation's efforts to combat terrorism.
The eight fighter jets will be immediately integrated into the Egyptian Air Force, joining its existing fleet of US-made F-16 aircraft.
"The F-16s provide a valuable capability that is needed during these times of regional instability. America's commitment to a strong relationship with Egypt is demonstrated by continued cooperation and capability sharing between our two countries," said US Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper.
The US' USD 1.3 billion commitment this year to upgrading Egypt's security and military strength is especially critical in light of Egypt's intense efforts to confront terrorism.
"Extremists threaten regional security and these weapon systems provide a new tool to help Egypt fight terrorism," Hooper added.
The F-16 Block 52 delivery, to be effected today and tomorrow, is the latest concrete step taken by the US government in support of a friendship and strategic partnership with Egypt that has continued for over 30 years.
The US will deliver four more F-16s to Egypt this fall. In addition, it will continue providing follow-on support, maintenance and training for Egyptian Air Force pilots and ground crews.
Earlier this month, Egypt took delivery of three Rafale fighter jets from France, the first of 24 warplane sold in a 5.2 billion euro (USD 5.6 billion) deal earlier this year.