December 21, 2001 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. said Thursday that Israel has agreed to buy 52 additional F-16 fighter jets, exercising a $1.3 billion option under a contract signed last year.
ordered 50 of the 2-seat fighters last year and said in June that it intended to exercise the option for additional planes.
The aeronautics company, a unit of Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp., said Israel will pay the U.S. government $2 billion for the additional jets, of which Lockheed Martin will get $1.3 billion.
The company said the aircraft will be assembled at its Fort Worth plant but airframe and avionics components will be produced in Israel.
The first F-16I (the I stands for Israel) is scheduled to be delivered in 2003.