US Approves Bahrain F-16 Fleet Support Package

The State Department signed off on a $150 million follow-on support and logistics contract for the Bahraini air force’s fleet of F-16s, citing the need to maintain the fleet’s readiness in the midst of increased operations tempo in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced. The contract will cover “follow on support and associated equipment, parts, and logistics” for the Royal Bahrain Air Force’s fleet of 17 F-16s, including support equipment, communications gear, ammunition, training, spare and repair parts, instructional documents, engineering support, an?d other program support tasks. The Royal Bahrain Air Force’s F-16s are “aging and periodic maintenance is becoming increasingly expensive,” the announcement states. In addition, the fleet age, combined with an “increased operational tempo” due to the RBAF’s involvement in Operation Inherent Resolve, has led to an “increased focus” on maintaining and sustaining the fighter fleet. The principal contractor has not been identified, nor has a timeframe for the support been established. Bahrain is one of several Gulf Cooperation Council states that have participated in strikes on ISIS targets in Syria since September 2014.