Iraqi air force F-16 Fghting Falcons conduct a training mission over Iraq on May 26, 2019. Photo by Master Sgt. Russ Scalf/U.S. Air Force
Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin was awarded two contracts worth more than $1.1 billion by the U.S. Air Force for production, support and training on the F-16 for two allied nations.
The two foreign military sales contracts, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, cover production and support of F-16 fighter aircraft for Slovakia, as well as contractor logistics support and a training detachment for the F-16 at Balad Air Base in Iraq.
The contract for Slovakia, valued at just under $800 million, is for production of 14 Slovak Republic F-16 block 70 aircraft. The fighter jets will be built at Lockheed's Greenville, South Carolina facility, with an expected completion date of Jan. 31, 2024.
Slovakia in 2018 opted for the F-16 over the Gripen to replace its MiG-29 jets, about two months after the U.S. State Department gave its blessing for the potential sale.
The Slovak Republic will be receiving the newest version of the F-16, the Block 70/72 F-16V, which includes new capabilities for the aircraft.
Lockheed on Wednesday also was awarded a $315 million contract by Air Force for contractor logistics support and the establishment of a training detachment at Balad as part of F-16 Contractor Logistics Support Phase IV.
Work under the deal will be performed at both Balad and at Lockheed's Greenville facility, with an expectation it will be completed by Dec. 31, 2022.
Iraq in 2011 signed a roughly $4.3 billion deal to purchase at least 96 F-16s, receiving the first 36 of them in 2014.