August 29, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Egyptian and US Air Force officials participated in a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt on Aug. 25 commemorating the 25th anniversary of Egypt's acquisition of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
EAF F-16C block 40 #9956 flies over Egypt with a USN F/A-18 and a USAF F-15 on September 28th, 2005. The aircraft were participating in Bright Star 2005/2006. [USAF photo by Cpl. Andy Hurt]
was the first Arab country to purchase F-16s through a Foreign Military Sales (FMS
) program called Peace Vector. The Egyptian Air Force (EAF
) received a total of 42 F-16s in its first order in 1980 and since then has purchased five more lots of aircraft, for a total of 220 F-16 Fighting Falcons.
"The Egyptian Air Force's F-16 program is one of the largest F-16 programs in the world and they have a distinguished record flying the aircraft," said John Larson, vice president Lockheed Martin F-16 programs as he addressed the crowd at the event.
"As we observe this historic silver anniversary, we are also celebrating the long, cooperative partnership our company has enjoyed with Egypt. This relationship extends beyond Lockheed Martin to include many other U.S. companies that are also part of the F-16 industrial team," Larson said.
Lockheed Martin continues to work with the EAF on upgrade and modification programs for their fleet of F-16s through initiatives such as the V-83 Airborne Video Tape Recorder upgrade on their block 40
aircraft, and the Falcon-UP structures modifications of the Peace Vector I and Peace Vector II aircraft slated to begin next year.
Earlier this year Pratt & Whitney, in partnership with the United States Air Force and the Egyptian Air Force, announced the opening of an F100 engine line at the Helwan Depot located at the Helwan Air Base in Egypt.
Other Arab countries now operating the F-16 are Bahrain
, the United Arab Emirates