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Update: Lockheed Martin hands over first F-16s to Slovakia

One of two F-16s handed over to Slovakia. (Lockheed Martin)

Lockheed Martin has formally handed over to Slovakia its first F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon multirole combat aircraft, the manufacturer announced on 10 January.

The first two of 14 jets were delivered to the Slovak Air Force at Lockheed Martin's Greenville production facility in South Carolina.

Lockheed Martin told Janes that, in this context, ‘delivery' “refers to the acceptance of the two Slovakia F-16 Block 70s by the [US] Defense Contract Management Agency. This acceptance was formalised with the signing of a [US] Department of Defense (DoD) Form 250, commonly known as DD-250. In short, when an aircraft is said to be ‘delivered or DD-250'd', it signifies that it has successfully completed the acceptance process and is now officially recognised as part of the [US] DoD's inventory or assets. Additionally, the first C-model (single-seat) and D-model (two-seater) will support On-the-Job Maintenance Training before they arrive in Slovakia”.

These first two aircraft are expected to be flown to the Eastern European country in mid-2024, with deliveries of the remaining aircraft to run through 2025.

Slovakia signed for 12 single-seat F-16C and two twin-seat F-16D Block 70 aircraft 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.

Once received, the F-16s will replace Russian-built MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum' aircraft that Slovakia has already retired and donated to Ukraine.

This story, first published on 11 January 2024, has been updated with new information.

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