US to deliver Eight F-16s to Egypt

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The US will deliver eight F-16 airplanes to Egypt on Thursday and Friday, the US embassy in Cairo said on Thursday.

The embassy said in a statement on its official website that the delivery comes as part of the “ongoing American support in Egypt and throughout the region.”

Flying directly from the US, the eight fighter jets will be integrated into Egypt’s air force once they arrive, joining the already existing US-made fleet of F-16s.

“The F-16s provide a valuable capability that is needed during these times of regional instability,” said the US Embassy’s Senior Defence Official in Cairo, Major General Charles Hooper.

According to the statement, the US will deliver four more F-16s to Egypt this autumn.

The delivery comes as part of the annual US $1.3 billion aid package to the Egyptian army.

Separately, on 17 June, the US had delivered two Fast Missile naval vessels to Egypt worth $1.1 billion, doubling Egypt’s total fleet of Fast Missile Craft. It described the delivery as an investment in “the bilateral strategic partnership” between the two countries.

Egypt’s navy is currently taking part in a Saudi-led Arab operation against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The army is also battling an Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai as the Islamic State (IS) group affiliate continues to launch attacks against security forces.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Cairo for a session of US – Egypt strategic dialogue.

source:Ahram Online

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