The US State Department has approved the sale of various military equipment to Middle Eastern allies on Thursday, costing Jordan over $4.21 billion worth of F-16 fighter jets. Saudi Arabia also joins the list with a Multifunctional Information Distribution System–Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT) worth $23.7 million, and the United Arab Emirates buying parts for the Raytheon MIM-23 Homing All the Way Killer (HAWK) missile, Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept on Target (PATRIOT) missile, and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense systems worth $65 million.

It looks like US allies in the Middle East are boosting their military capacity in a big way. Jordan, last February 4, had requested 16 F-16s that are upgraded to the Block 70 (F-16V) configuration, specifically 12 F-16Cs and 4 F-16Ds. These, along with subsystems, weapons, munitions, and logistical support, bring the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) to a more formidable position when it comes to protecting their air space.

A Royal Jordanian Air Force Pilot snapping a photo in his F-16, 2011 (Wikimedia Commons). Source:
A Royal Jordanian Air Force Pilot snapping a photo in his F-16, 2011 (US Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Asha Kin via Wikimedia Commons)

Among these subsystems and machinery are 21 F100-GE-129D engines and F100-PW229EEP engines, with 16 already installed having five engines as spares. It also purchased 21 Improved Programmable Display Generators, 21 AN/APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Scalable Agile Beam Radars (SABR), 21 M61A1 Vulcan cannons, and 72 LAU-129 launchers, to name a few. Its principal contractor was said to be Lockheed Martin. The complete list of this purchase can be viewed here.

This means that a total of 79 F-16s battle-ready aircraft are now available to be used by the Royal Jordanian Air Force through its Peace Falcon I-VI program. This allows Jordanian fighter aircraft to be modernized to compete with an ever-changing environment for defense readiness. The Jordanian Air Force is generally considered to have pretty good pilots behind the stick.