PH to get 12 F-16 jets under arms deal with US

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The United States is pushing a $2.6-billion weapons sale to the Philippines of which the biggest component is for 12 F-16 fighter jets.

This, despite the opposition of some US Congress members who allege the Duterte Administration committed numerous human rights violations.

 

The 12 F-16 jets will cost $2.43 billion, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on Thursday. Each F-16 jet would be costing $202.5 million, indicating these are brand new.
The DSCA announced earlier agreements to sell 24 AIM-9X Sidewinder tactical missiles at a $43.4 million, and 12 AGM-841-1 Harpoon missiles at $120 million.

 

Each contract includes associated equipment, training and spare parts.

Lockheed Martin would be the primary contractor for the F-16s, with Raytheon for the Sidewinder missiles and Boeing for the Harpoon missiles.

The State Department gave its assent to the deals, which must still be approved by Congress.

The DSCA statements noted that “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.”

Those opposing the arms sale is a group of 10 House members who co-sponsored a bill last week citing the human rights record of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

The bill calls for suspension of U.S. security assistance, and vetoing of loans to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police.

The United States has already sold $2.4 billion in military equipment to the Philippines since Duterte was elected in 2016.

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