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F-16 jet

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a series of contracts to Michael Baker International to support Iraq’s purchase of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft under the US foreign military sales (FMS) programme.

Under the contracts, which have a combined value of at $838m, the company, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, KS International and Sallyport Global Services, will provide design, engineering, construction, and other services to support the deployment of the aircraft at Balad Air Base, Iraq, over the next three years.

Specifically, the company will provide all services, resources and management necessary to support the Iraqi Air Force’s F-16 FMS programme, including all planning, design, engineering, engineering assessments, programme and construction management, and construction, as well as engineering and management for water, wastewater and power production.

In addition to this, the company will provide flight tower and flight line operations, facilities operations, maintenance and repair, base engineering support, and other services, including fire safety and training, base medical services, communications engineering, morale, welfare and recreation operations, and security services.

Baker International CEO Kurt Bergman said the contract’s extensive scope will enable the company to provide a broad range of services from front-end planning, architecture, design and engineering services, to program and construction management, and airfield operations.

"We have the ability to provide full life cycle support and security services as well as information technology and communication solutions to meet the needs of our customer," Bergman said.

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"The contract’s extensive scope will enable the company to provide a broad range of services."

Baker International International Operations EVP Nicholas Gross said, "All of our Baker International employees look forward to continuing to provide support for the next phase of Iraq’s development and economic growth."

The contract also includes design-build renovation and rehabilitation projects, which include the completion of the base operations centre, prime power plant, communications facility, electronic security systems, and other base infrastructure with options for the inclusion of the airfield navigational aids and other facilities.

Iraq has ordered a total of 36F-16 C/D Block 52 aircraft from US in two batches in July and October 2012.

Image: A USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft during a mission over Iraq. Photo: courtesy of Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway.

Defence Technology