Iraq 'Very Close' to Buying F-16s

Iraq is reported to be "very close" to signing a letter of intent to buy up to 36 Lockheed Martin F-16 jets, according to Bloomberg.

Major General Russ Handy, a senior U.S. Air Force general in Iraq, told reporters at the Pentagon that Iraq would buy a first installment of 18 aircraft, with a potential total of 36.

“These are very modern aircraft ... They should have fairly modern capabilities. It’s a multi-role fighter”, he said, adding that the best case for first delivery is late 2013,.

The agreement is awaiting signature of a formal “letter of offer and acceptance” that signals an Iraqi government commitment to purchase a specified number of aircraft, the cost and payment schedule, Handy said. “We are hearing very encouraging words.”

(Source: Bloomberg)

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