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Lockheed Martin flies first F-16 for Slovakia

The first of 14 F-16 Block 70 aircraft for Slovakia made its maiden flight in the US on 29 September. (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin flew the first F-16C Block 70 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft for Slovakia at its Greenville production facility in South Carolina on 29 September.

The first of 12 single-seat F-16C and two twin-seat F-16D Block 70 aircraft for the Slovak Air Force made its maiden flight about three weeks after being officially presented to the Armed Forces of the Slovak Republic on 6 September.

Slovakia signed for its F-16s in December 2018, in a EUR1.6 billion (then valued at USD1.8 billion) procurement contract that also included Raytheon AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs) and AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, as well as training and support.

Aircraft deliveries to Slovakia will commence from the second quarter (Q2) of 2024, from which time they will replace Russian-built MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' aircraft that Slovakia has already retired and donated to Ukraine.

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