Above: Four F-16C deliveries seen last April on their way to Egypt (the fifth going to Greece)
From the New York Times:
President Obama, in his first punitive response to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt, has halted the delivery of four F-16 fighter planes to the Egyptian Air Force.
The warplanes are part of a deal the United States and Egypt reached in 2009 for the delivery of 20 F-16 C/D fighters during 2013. The first batch of aircraft was delivered in January, with more scheduled for this summer and another delivery late this year.
The decision was described by some Pentagon officials as carefully calibrated to signal American displeasure but not go so far as to rupture the relationship or put Egypt’s security at risk.These are F-16C/Ds Block 52 aircraft downgraded in relation to Israel's F-16s, such as being armed with AIM-7P Sparrow systems as opposed to more current active-homing AIM-120 AMRAAMs.
This is not the first time F-16 deliveries have been adversely affected by political developments. Iran's large order of F-16s was cancelled following the Iranian revolution, and more recently Venezuelan F-16 aircraft have been rendered with servicing difficulties due to a U.S. arms embargo on the country. (There have even been rumors Iran's IAIO has made attempts of assistance, having considerable experience in servicing U.S. military aircraft without American manufacturer support.)
Iraq is anxiously awaiting delivery of their F-16 F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft. The 1st delivery of 2 planes is scheduled for September 2014, with at least 2 arriving every month thereafter. The expectation is for all 36 ordered fighters to arrive by the end of 2015. However, like Egypt's F-16s, the Iraqi F-16's are also downgraded in relation to those delivered to Israel's air force. Within the past week, Iraq stated it had no way of interdicting arms being ferried to Syria over its airspace, which could be seen as a big hint it hopes for the F-16 deal to actually materialize and also perhaps to enable political cover in Washington for deliveries to become a reality.
File photo: Joad Toste at Airliner.net