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Jul 30, 11:42 AM EDT

US delivering 8 newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt


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CAIRO (AP) -- The United States Embassy in Cairo says the U.S. is delivering eight newer F-16 warplanes to Egypt as part of an ongoing military support package.

It says in a Thursday statement that the aircraft, of the current Block 52 production variant, will be flown in from the U.S. and delivered to an air base outside Cairo by Friday.

The Embassy's senior defense official in Cairo, Maj. Gen. Charles Hooper, says "the F-16s provide a valuable capability that is needed during these times of regional instability... a new tool to help Egypt fight terrorism."

Egypt has over 200 F-16s but mostly from older production models. The Block 52 boasts a more powerful engine and advanced weapons and sensors. The U.S. will deliver four more F-16s this fall.

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