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US approves F-16 sale, but does Manila now prefer Gripens?

25th June 2021 - 09:03 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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The Philippine Air Force has been approved to buy 12 F-16 Block 70/72 fighters, but will it? (Gordon Arthur)

The US has approved the sale of 12 F-16s to the Philippines, hotting up a battle with Saab's Gripen. Almost simultaneously, the PAF loses a Black Hawk helicopter.

The US has decided it can sell 12 F-16 Block 70/72 fighters to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for a price tag of $2.43 billion.

The 24 June announcement by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) does not constitute a sale, for the F-16 is still locked in a dogfight with Saab’s JAS 39C/D Gripen for the PAF’s long-running Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) project.

Manila requested FMS price quotes for ten F-16C and two F-16D fighters, both types in Block 70/72 configuration. The PAF also requested 15 F100-PW-229EEP or F110-GE-129D jet engines. These fighters would come with the AN/APG-83 AESA radar.

Munitions include …

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