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First Slovak "humpback" F-16D Block 70 took the skies

December 16, 2023 (by Lieven Dewitte) - On Friday, December 15, the first of two contracted Slovak F-16D Block 70s was flown from Donaldson Field Airport in Greenville, South Carolina.

Maiden flight of the first Slovak F-16D Block 70 with "humpback" [Photo by Nelson Tower]

The F-16 with serial number #1101 is equipped with a characteristic hump for additional avionics.

In December 2018, the Slovak Republic ordered twelve F-16C Fighting Falcon Block 70 aircraft and two two-seater F-16Ds. These F-16s are manufactured in Greenville, South Carolina, where they have a backlog of another 135 F-16s.

The contract also included the construction of infrastructure at the Sliač air base and the training of 22 pilots and 160 mechanics. Deliveries were supposed to begin in 2022, but the program has been hit by a slide due to chip shortages, the COVID-19 pandemic and the relocation of Lockheed Martin's F-16 production line to new premises in Greenville.

Slovakia’s first single-seat F-16 Block 70 (#1001) completed its maiden flight on September 29, 2023. The first group of jets, known as a ferry cell, is expected to arrive in Slovakia mid-2024.

A total of six countries ordered the Block 70/72 aircraft.

Additional images:

VS OOSR F-16C block 70 #1001 seen here on its first flight on September 29th, 2023. [Lockheed photo]