Royal Bahraini Air Force F-16 Block 70

First three F-16 Block 70 fighters on their way to Bahrain

The Persian Gulf country’s Air Force has ordered 16 combat aircraft, five of which are already produced by Lockheed Martin

The first three F-16 Block 70 fighters of the Royal Bahraini Air Force took off from the Lockheed Martin facility in Greenville on a ferry flight to the Persian Gulf on March 6.

Bahrain is the first customer for the modernized F-16, which will be manufactured in the manufacturer’s new facilities in South Carolina. The jets had been symbolically delivered in March 2023.

However, the aircraft remained in the United States for test flights at Edwards Air Force Base, California, with the 416th Flight Test Squadron.

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Royal Bahraini Air Force F-16 Block 70 (Lockheed Martin)

According to Lockheed, there are two other F-16s from Bahrain that have already been completed and are part of an order for 16 aircraft. The remaining 11 are in various stages of production and testing.

“With the introduction of the F-16 Block 70, we are witnessing a significant leap in fighter capabilities. The integration of this proven platform will allow the Royal Bahraini Air Force to safeguard its skies effectively and partner with allies worldwide,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager of the Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.

Royal Bahraini Air Force F-16 Block 70 (Lockheed Martin)

The company says it has a total of 133 orders for the F-16 Block 70 and that 19 to 21 jets will be delivered in 2024.

The F-16 Block 70 incorporates advancements such as the APG-83 AESA Radar, advanced avionics, and a modernized cockpit featuring new safety systems and weapon platforms. Additionally, the aircraft’s service life was extended to 12,000 hours.

There are more than 3,100 F-16s in service in 25 countries around the world.


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