AN INITIAL four Iraqi Air Force F-16C/D Block 52s have finally arrived in the country. The aircraft, two single-seat F-16Cs and a pair of twin-seat F-16Ds, landed at their new home at Balad Air Base on Monday, July 13. Their arrival had been delayed for some time due to the unstable security situation in the country.
Prior to their arrival, these aircraft had been training with the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing at Tucson International Airport, Arizona. The first Iraqi F-16 had been handed over at the factory in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 5, 2014, following which the inital aircraft had been due to arrive in Iraq last September.
Due to the security concerns, it was announced on November 10 last year that Tucson would be used for training in the interim and the first two Iraqi F-16s arrived there from Fort Worth on December 16. Iraq has a total of 36 F-16s on order, comprising 24 F-16Cs and 12 F-16Ds. Alan Warnes