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First batch of Iraqi F-16 fighter aircraft landed in Baghdad

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World Defense & Security News - Iraq
 
 
 
First batch of Iraqi F-16 fighter aircraft landed in Baghdad
 
A first batch of four F-16 fighter jets from the United States landed in Baghdad on Monday July 13rd, 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said. Iraq ordered 36 of the Lockheed Martin Corp airplanes, but initial deliveries were delayed because of security concerns after Islamic State militants overran large areas of of the country last year.
     
A first batch of four F-16 fighter jets from the United States landed in Baghdad on Monday July 13rd, 2015, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said. Iraq ordered 36 of the Lockheed Martin Corp airplanes, but initial deliveries were delayed because of security concerns after Islamic State militants overran large areas of of the country last year. Iraq ordered a total of 36 F-16 fighter jets
     
Four jets landed at the Balad air base north of Baghdad today, July 13rd, shortly after noon (0900 GMT), an officer in the Iraqi air force said.

The delivery came as Iraqi authorities announced the start of a military operation to drive Islamic State from the province of Anbar, west of Baghdad.

The more sophisticated F-16 planes received on Monday are expected to enhance the Iraqi air force's capacity but, with foreign aircraft also taking on IS since last year, the delivery is not seen as a game-changer in the war against IS.

Lockheed Martin officially delivered the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force during a ceremony in last June at its Fort Worth facility.

Lockheed Martin is producing the F-16s under a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense. 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.