May 2, 2013 (by Asif Shamim) - On Tuesday it was announced that Lockheed Martin Aeronautics were awarded a $830 Million contract to supply Iraq with a further batch of 18 F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft. The contract is expected to run through till April 30, 2014.
The additional order is part of effort to rebuild Iraq
's armed forces after the Saddam era. An initial batch of 18 F-16 aircraft were ordered in December 2011 and are currently being built for the country at Lockheed's Fort Worth plant.
Lockheed spokesman Ken Ross said this latest contract should keep the F-16 production line busy through mid-2017. As of March 31, Lockheed had said it had 40 unfilled F-16 orders, which the company said previously was enough to keep the program busy into 2015.
The 2017 date however does not take into account further potential sales to the United Arab Emirates
which are currently in discussion between leaders from the country and the Department of Defense.