FORT WORTH, Texas, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Bahrain received the first of its new production F-16 aircraft today in ceremonies at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000622/DATH031 ) The aircraft is the first of 10 F-16s purchased under the Peace Crown II program. Col. Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Defence Attache for the Embassy of Bahrain, accepted the first of the F-16s that will establish a new fighter squadron for the Bahrain Amiri Air Force (BAAF) at Sheikh Isa Air Base. The new F-16s will supplement the BAAF's existing inventory of 12 Block 40s (eight C model, four D model) that were purchased in 1987 and delivered in 1990. "We are always pleased when an existing customer comes back to us for new aircraft, because it signifies customer satisfaction, not just with the aircraft, but with entire F-16 program," said Dain Hancock, president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. "Bahrain has shown amazing proficiency with the F-16, flying 167 combat sorties during Desert Storm only months after the introduction and delivery of the first F-16 to their air force. The BAAF has proven to have strong influence in the region and has forged excellent relationships with coalition forces, including USAF." Lockheed Martin now has over 40 follow-on buys of the F-16 made by customers in 15 countries. The new production F-16 aircraft is the same Block 40 configuration as the aircraft from Peace Crown I, with the addition of new equipment items. These include a color cockpit TV system, APG-68 (V) 8 radar, and AIM-120 advanced medium range air-to-air missile (AMRAAM) capability. All of the new aircraft will be single seat F-16Cs. The Peace Crown II program is valued at $303 million, and will complete delivery at the end of 2000. The F-16, the world's most sought-after fighter, is the choice of 20 countries. More than 4,000 aircraft have been delivered; hundreds more will be delivered to Egypt, the United States, Israel, Greece and the United Arab Emirates; and production is expected to continue to 2010. Major upgrades for all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft's long service life. The F-16 is playing a major role as the durable and versatile "workhorse" in allied peacekeeping operations in the Balkans and Iraq. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F-22, C-130J, F-117, U-2, X-33 and Joint Strike Fighter, among other renowned aircraft. LM Aeronautics is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). Lockheed Martin is headquartered in Bethesda, Md., and is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced-technology systems, products and services. The corporation's core businesses are systems integration, space, aeronautics and technology services. F-16 is a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin Corporation. For information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit: www.lockheedmartin.com. For information on Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, visit: www.lmaeronautics.com.
SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company