The Iraqi Air Force is set to receive their first tranche of the latest block F-16 Fighting Falcon:
Iraq has finalized a deal to buy advanced U.S. fighter jets, the first step toward building a modern postwar air force, officials said.
Iraq has yet to publicly announce completion of the deal to buy 18 F-16s, but officials in Washington said an initial payment of $1.5 billion has been received.
The deal is considered sensitive in Iraq, and the Pentagon and State Department have declined to comment until Baghdad makes a formal announcement. Iraq had plans to buy the planes earlier this year, but froze them for a time following the Arab Spring protests across the region.
The decision by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to go forward with the purchase followed an unexpected surge in government oil revenue, officials said.
Marine Major Sly Mcgill shot down a MiG-29 Fulcrum while on an USAF F-15 exchange tour during Desert Storm. In discussing the shootdown with my TOPGUN class, he said that the Fulcrum was a pretty good jet, but that a pig wearing a Rolex is still just a pig.
So, Lockheed Martin has a new client, and the USAF F-16 instructor cohort has new students.
It will be interesting to see what can be made of them.