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Iraq accepts first Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft


The Republic of Iraq's first F-16 Fighting Falcon. Photo: Lockheed Martin

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (BNS): Iraq has taken delivery of the first 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft built by Lockheed Martin during a ceremony at its Fort Worth facility.

The F-16s are being built in a configuration tailored to meet the specific requirements of the Iraqi Air Force, Lockheed Martin said.

The F-16s are being produced under a contract from the U S Department of Defence. The contract includes mission equipment and a support package provided by Lockheed Martin and other U S and international contractors.

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.

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.

"Iraq joins 27 other nations around the world who depend on the F-16 Fighting Falcon to maintain peace and security," said Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

"We are proud to play a role in the defence of a new democracy and look forward to strengthening our partnership with Iraq."

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