Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




AEROSPACE
F-16s for Egypt stirs anger in Congress
by Staff Writers
Cairo (UPI) Feb 5, 2013


The delivery of four Lockheed Martin F-16 strike jets to Egypt has stirred congressional ire as Egypt's pro-democracy revolution hangs in the balance, with Islamists seeking to tighten their grip on power.

The jets, which reached Egypt Sunday, are the first of 20 Block 52 F-16s due to be delivered this year under a $1.3 billion a year U.S. military aid program signed by the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, a key U.S. ally who was swept from power in February 2011.

Amid a new wave of political upheaval, this time against Mubarak's Islamist successor, Mohamed Morsi, who's viewed with deep suspicion by the Americans, Republican lawmakers have sought to have the F-16 deliveries blocked.

"I think it's a blunder of the first proportion to send sophisticated weapons to a country that's allowed a mob to attack our embassy and to burn our flag," U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor last week.

The aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2013 are 16 F-16Cs and four F-16Ds. These make up a U.S. Foreign Military Sales program known as Peace Vector VII signed in December 2009 that will raise Egypt's inventory of the Lockheed Martin jets to 240.

The arms program is part of a major U.S. effort to modernize Egypt's armed forces and phase out Soviet-era weapons systems. It began after Egypt became the first Arab state to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

The United States viewed military investment in Egypt as a crucial element of its Middle East policy centered on Israel.

Mubarak was an avid champion of that strategy but his downfall after 40 years of dictatorial rule and the marginalization of Egypt's powerful generals military threatened to unravel U.S. policy, and undermine the peace treaty with Israel.

These threats intensified when the Muslim Brotherhood took power in parliamentary elections in 2012.

Morsi, an Islamist elected in June, is grappling with a new uprising triggered by his efforts to monopolize power in his own hands. More than 100 people have been killed in street battles since Jan. 26.

Paul proposed a bill in the U.S. Senate prohibiting the sale of F-16s, M1A1 Abrams tanks built by General Dynamics Land Systems, and other advanced systems to Egypt while the Muslim Brotherhood is in power.

Egypt is also scheduled to get 200 Abrams this year, bolstering its inventory of more than 1,000 M1A1s, some built under license in Egypt.

"I find it objectionable to send weapons, F-16s and tanks, to a country that allowed a mob chanting 'death to America' to threaten out American diplomats," Paul said.

An arms ban would hit the U.S. defense industry hard at a time of some $600 billion in defense cuts over the next few years starting in March.

Exports of weapons systems and other equipment have become crucial in keeping assembly lines running.

Lockheed Martin, the leading U.S. defense contractor, has said its sales would decline in the next fiscal year even without the across-the-board U.S. cuts, known as sequestration.

Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics and other defense majors have reported strong performances in 2012, despite the looming threat they face.

But if military exports are hit, the long-term prospects are bleaker.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the new ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced similar legislation to Paul's.

But he acknowledged that an outright ban on arms sales to Egypt, the most populous Arab state which fought four wars with Israel since 1948 and lost all of them, would cause serious harm to the United States.

Inhofe estimated a total ban would cost the U.S. defense industry $2.2 billion and diminish U.S. leverage over Egypt.

Instead, he suggested the United States suspend military sales to Egypt, which are vital to the country's upgrading of its armed forces, unless U.S. President Barack Obama certifies Egypt is committed to observing the peace treaty with Israel.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, declared the arms deliveries "insane" Jan. 24, and blasted the Obama administration for sending advanced weaponry "to a leader whose only two enemies, he said in the past, are Israel and the United States."

.


Related Links
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





AEROSPACE
Iran unveils futuristic-looking warplane
Tehran (AFP) Feb 2, 2013
Iran on Saturday unveiled a fighter jet it said was designed and built domestically, with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad touting it as "one of the most advanced" aircraft in the world. State television footage showed the grey, futuristic-looking aircraft, code-named Qaher (Conqueror) F-313, displayed in a hangar. The warplane "is among the most advanced fighter jets in the world," Ahmadin ... read more


AEROSPACE
Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

AEROSPACE
AAS Division For Planetary Sciences Issues Statement On Mars 2020 Program

Curiosity Maneuver Prepares for Drilling

Ridges on Mars suggest ancient flowing water

Changes on Mars Caused by Seasonal Thawing of CO2

AEROSPACE
Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

Iran's Bio-Capsule Comes Back from Space

A Hero For Humankind: Yuri Gagarin's Spaceflight

Internet wonders which monkey Iran sent into space

AEROSPACE
Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

AEROSPACE
NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

ESA workhorse to power NASA's Orion spacecraft

Competition Hopes To Fine Tune ISS Solar Array Shadowing

AEROSPACE
Zenit Engine Worked Normally

NASA Launches Rocket from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

Intelsat 27 Launch Unsuccessful

Floating platform unharmed after Zenit launch failure

AEROSPACE
Herschel Finds Past-Prime Star May Be Making Planets

Stars can be late parents

Researchers develop model for identifying habitable zones around star

TW Hydrae: There's more to astronomers' favorite planetary nursery than previously thought

AEROSPACE
South Korean Satellite Makes First Contact with Ground

Novel materials shake ship scum

Penn Research Shows Mechanism Behind Wear at the Atomic Scale

NTU research embraces laser and sparks cool affair




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement