Lockheed Martin delivered the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force on Thursday at its Fort Worth facility, according to an official statement.
The F-16s are being built in a configuration tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Iraqi Air Force, and the contract includes mission equipment and a support package provided by Lockheed Martin and other U.S. and international contractors.
"Iraq joins 27 other nations around the world who depend on the F-16 Fighting Falcon to maintain peace and security," saidOrlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. "We are proud to play a role in the defense of a new democracy and look forward to strengthening our partnership with Iraq."
This year the F-16 Fighting Falcon celebrates 40 years of evolution, and it remains the safest and most effective 4th generation multi-role fighter in the world. The F-16 will continue to be the backbone of the U.S. Air Force for years to come, assuring proven support and sustainment throughout the life of Iraq's F-16 program. More than 4,540 F-16 aircraft have been delivered to date, and production is expected to continue through 2017, with major upgrades being incorporated for all F-16 versions.