Lockheed Martin Delivers Slovakia’s First Two F-16s

Lockheed Martin has delivered the first two out of 14 F-16 Block 70 jets ordered by Slovakia.

The fighters, originally scheduled to arrive last year, were manufactured at the company’s Fighting Falcon production line in Greenville, South Carolina, which caters to four other countries’ F-16 requests.

Slovakia’s F-16 contract is priced at almost $800 million, the country’s biggest military purchase.

Deliveries for the rest of the fleet, set to replace Slovakia’s Russian MiG-29 fighter planes, will continue through 2025.

An ‘Invalid’ Deal

Originally signed by the Slovak Ministry of Defence in 2018, the procurement was previously deemed ‘”invalid” by Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, citing that the deal was not approved by the finance ministry.

However, the issue was resolved the next month when Defense Minister Peter Gajdoš and Lockheed Martin VP Ana Wugofski signed contracts for 14 F-16s, equipment, support, and training.

Political analysts suggested that the clash between the two ministries was part of an internal power struggle.

The F-16’s Capabilities

Operated by 25 countries, the F-16 is a multi-role fighter jet with more than 3,300 carriage and weapon integration variations.

It can be fitted with rotary cannons, gatling guns, missiles and targeting pods.

Its latest Block 70/72 model, which can reach speeds of up to 1,500 miles (2,414 kilometers) per hour, is equipped with advanced APG-83 AESA radar, infrared search and track, and a digital intercommunications system.

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