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Congress out of the loop as administration advances F-16 deal with Egypt

Special to WorldTribune.com

WASHINGTON — The United States has contracted for the delivery of
F-16 multi-role fighters to Egypt in 2013.

The Defense Department awarded a $563 million contract to Lockheed
Martin for the integration and delivery of 20 F-16 aircraft over the next
two years.

Egypt will receive 20 F-16s from the U.S. over the next two years. /U.S. Air Force photo

Sources said Congress has not been told details of the administration’s directive. They said leading members of the House and Senate have relayed concern to the White House over supplying advanced F-16s in wake of the assumption of dictatorial powers by Egypt’s first Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi.

The Pentagon said the F-16 contract was for a foreign client,
which industry sources identified as Egypt.

“Contract involves Foreign Military Sales,” the Pentagon said.

In a statement on Dec. 17, the Pentagon said the latest award marked a
modification of a previous contract for development, integration and
delivery of 20 F-16 Block 52 aircraft. The statement said this would consist of 16 C and four D platforms.

“Work is expected to be completed by Sept. 30, 2014,” the Pentagon said.

Earlier this month, congressional sources said the administration of President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon to accelerate delivery of the 20
F-16s to Egypt. The sources said the Pentagon was told to begin delivery of the aircraft by February 2013.

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