WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Egypt's Defense Ministry announced it received the final four of its 20 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52 multi-role fighters.
The Egyptian government initially placed the order for the fighter jets in 2006, however the White House halted the sale following the military assuming control of the country in July 2013. The United States resumed the sale earlier in 2015 according to IHS Janes.
The last four aircraft arrived in Cairo on November 4th, following 8 more jets delivered earlier in 2015 after the White House restored military aid to the country. Defense News reports the delivery brings the total number of F-16 aircraft in Egypt to 195. The U.S. Air Force will provide maintenance operations on the aircraft in addition to training Egyptian Air Force pilots, ground crews and technicians.
The delivery comes as The United States and Egypt work to repair diplomatic and military relations. The Obama administration suspended military aid to Cairo in July 2013 when current Egyptian president Abdel Fatah el-Sisi led a bloody coup against sitting democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi. Only 8 of the ordered fighters had been delivered.
The F-16s are versatile fighters that can be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations. Egyptian security forces are currently engaged with terror groups in the region, some of which are al-Qaida affiliates.