FORT WORTH, Texas, June 6 (UPI) -- The Air Force of Iraq has formally accepted the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 fighters produced by Lockheed Martin under a Foreign Military Sales contract.
The handover of the jet was conducted earlier this week at the company's facility in Fort Worth, Texas, but additional details were not provided.
Lockheed Martin said the F-16 Fighting Falcons it is building for Iraq are in a configuration tailored to Iraqi requirements. The contract for the jets also provides for mission equipment and a support package that includes the temporary assignment of personnel to Balad Air Base in Iraq.
"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 defense of a new democracy and look forward to strengthening our partnership with Iraq."
Lockheed's production of F-16s for Iraq is expected to continue through 2017.