June 21, 2000 (by Lieven Dewitte) - June 22, 2000 Bahrain received the first of its new production F-16 aircraft today in ceremonies at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.
The aircraft is the first of 10 F-16s purchased under the Peace Crown II program. Col. Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Defense Attaché for the Embassy of Bahrain
, accepted the first of the F-16s that will establish a new fighter squadron for the Bahrain Amiri Air Force (BAAF) at Sheikh Isa Air Base.
The new F-16s will supplement the BAAF's existing inventory of 12 Block 40s (eight C model, four D model) that were purchased in 1987 and delivered in 1990.
Bahrain has shown amazing proficiency with the F-16, flying 167 combat sorties during Desert Storm only months after the introduction and delivery of the first F-16 to their air force.
Lockheed Martin now has over 40 follow-on buys of the F-16 made by customers in 15 countries.
The new production F-16 aircraft is the same block 40 configuration as the aircraft from Peace Crown I, with the addition of new equipment items. These include a color cockpit TV system, APG-68 (V) 8 radar, and AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) capability. All of the new aircraft will be single seat F-16Cs.
The Peace Crown II program is valued at $303 million, and will complete delivery at the end of 2000.