The US will supply Egypt with 20 F-16 fighter jets as part of a billion dollar aid package, FoxNews reported. The first four jets will be delivered on January 22, after undergoing examinations in Fort Worth, Texas.
The deal was signed in 2010 during the reign of Hosni Mubarak. But given the political instability sweeping the country, some have begun to wonder whether it is wise to donate fighter jets to an already 200 strong air force fleet.
Quoting Malou Innocent, a foreign policy expert, FoxNews said: “Should an overreaction (by Egypt) spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put US officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware … to both belligerents.” The report added that: “Given Washington’s fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”
Republican Congresswomen Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwomen of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, criticized the military aid to Egypt. “The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States,” she said.
"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the enduring partnership and commitment we have made to the government of Egypt," said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs. "We remain committed to providing our customer with a proven, advanced 4th Generation multirole fighter."
The $213 million order, which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers and is part of Egypt's foreign aid package from America, had to be approved by lawmakers in Washington.While the basic F-16 has been a military workhorse for top air forces for more than 25 years, the cockpit electronics are constantly updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor Lockheed Martin makes.
the cockpit electronics are constantly updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor Lockheed Martin makes.
So we give them away?