F-16s Ordered for Iraq

The Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a $835 million contract for 18 F-16 Block 52 aircraft for the Iraqi air force, announced the Defense Department on Monday. Under a foreign military sales arrangement, Iraq will receive 12 F-16Cs and six two-seat F-16Ds to reconstitute its fledgling air arm’s fighter force. The first Iraqi F-16 pilots already are undergoing training in the United States. Arrival of the first Iraqi F-16 is not expected before late 2013, USAF officials have said. Lockheed, which builds the F-16 in Fort Worth, Tex., also will provide support equipment and logistics support under the terms of this contract. Iraqi officials have said they are interested in up to 36 F-16s. (Monday’s list of major DOD contracts)