RABAT - Morocco took delivery on Aug. 4 of a first batch of 24 F-16 fighter jets from the United States as part of its air force modernization program, a senior U.S .officer said.
Four F-16s were delivered to Morocco, Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward of the U.S. Air Force told reporters in the southern city of Marrakesh.
Another seven would be delivered at the beginning of 2012 and the remaining 13 in the following months, she added.
The 24 F-16s, the CD block 50-52 model, were among the most modern versions available, said Woodward.
The contract with the U.S., which includes the sale of equipment, services and pilot training, is worth an estimated $2.4 billion (1.7 billion euros).
The F-16s competed with the Rafale jet produced by France's Dassault to win the Moroccan deal.
The Benguerir air base north of Marrakesh took delivery of the aircraft in a ceremony attended by senior officers of the Moroccan and U.S. military, the MAP news agency reported.