"This is a great day for Lockheed Martin and a testament to the commitment we have made to the government of Turkey. We remain committed to providing our customer with the most technologically advanced multi-role fighter available today," said John Larson, vice president, Lockheed Martin F-16 programs. "This marks the 52nd follow-on buy of F-16s by 14 repeat customers. The aircraft we will deliver to Turkey will join the fleet of over 4,300 F-16s representing 24 nations."
"The new aircraft will supplement the Turkish Air Force's existing fleet of F-16s and contribute to the upgrade and modernization of the TUAF," Lockheed Martin said in a statement. "The new aircraft include the same advanced systems being installed on Turkey's existing F-16 fleet as part of an on-going upgrade program.
"At the conclusion of these two programs all Turkish F-16s will be in a common, state-of-the-art configuration," the company said. "The final Turkish F-16 under this contract will be delivered in 2013.
"Our company and employees take great pride in producing and sustaining the F-16 and look forward to doing so for many years to come," Larson said. "We value our partnership with the government of Turkey and the confidence they have placed in the F-16 in support of their nation's security."
Although Turkey is now governed by a coalition government led by an Islamist party, it remains a member of the U.S.-led NATO alliance, and relations with Washington remain very close.
Wisconsin business offering 'therapeutic cuddling' forced to close
Exploding whale video goes viral on Internet