Iraq receives second batch of F-16 fighter jets

3 February 2016 (Last Updated February 3rd, 2016 18:30)

The Iraq Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly taken delivery of the second batch of two US F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter aircraft.

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The Iraq Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly taken delivery of the second batch of two US F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighter aircraft.

The spokesman for the US-led military campaign against ISIS, colonel Steve Warren, also confirmed the arrival of new jets in Iraq, Reuters reported.

The initial deliveries of the aircraft were delayed due to security issues after ISIS militants overran large areas of the country in 2015.

Additionally, the delay in the training of Iraqi pilots limited the delivery of the aircraft.

The arrival of new jets brings the total number of F-16 aircraft acquired by the Iraq's Armed Forces to date to six.

The first batch of four jets was delivered in July.

Iraq ordered 18 F-16s in 2011 followed by the order for 18 more in 2012, bringing the total number of jets to be acquired to 36. The US started training Iraqi pilots in 2012.

"Iraq ordered 18 F-16s in 2011 followed by the order for 18 more in 2012, bringing the total number of jets to be acquired to 36."

The Lockheed Martin-built F-16 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F-100-GE-129 turbofan engine.

Earlier this year, Iraq requested $2bn worth weapons and munitions for the F-16 fighter jets from the US.

The request includes 20 joint helmet mounting cueing systems, 24 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles, 150 AGM-65D Maverick missiles, 14,120 500lb general purpose bombs, 2,400 2,000lb general purpose bombs, over 8,000 laser-guided bomb (LGB) tail kits and 8,500 FMU-152 fuses.

Additionally, Iraq will acquire 250 LGB Paveway II tail kits to be combined with 2,000lb warheads for MK-82 and / or BLU-117 to build GBU-10 guided bombs.


Image: The first batch of Lockheed Martin-built F-16 was delivered in July .Photo: courtesy of Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway / US Air Force.