Iraq receives first batch of F-16 warplanes from US


f-16 iraq

Iraq has taken delivery of the first batch of four US F-16 warplanes at Balad Air Base in Salahuddin province.

The delivery of the aircraft was delayed over security issues at Balad, which is located 70km north of Baghdad.

Iraqi News cited a brief statement from the Iraq Defence Ministry that read as: "The number of the F-16 fighter aircrafts, which arrived to Iraq amounted to four aircraft.

"The fighters jets landed in a base allocated to them in Balad district in Salahuddin province."

"The delivery of the aircraft was delayed over security issues at Balad, which is located 70km north of Baghdad."

The Lockheed Martin F-16 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F-100-GE-129 turbofan engine. It was initially designed as an air superiority day fighter, however it later evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft for accurate delivery of ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

The delivery of the aircraft was delayed over security issues at Balad, which is located 70km north of Baghdad.

Iraq ordered 18 F-16s in 2011 and 18 more in 2012. The US started training Iraqi pilots in 2012.

Meanwhile, deputy special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk also confirmed the arrival of new jets in Iraq, AFP reported.

The US Air Force's F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter aircraft is said to be the world's most prolific fighter with more than 2,000 in service and 2,000 operational with 25 other countries.

In June, an Iraqi Air Force's F-16 fighter jet reportedly crashed in Arizona near the US-Mexico border during a night training mission


Image: A US Air Force F-16C jet over Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Master Sgt Andy Dunaway.