Lockheed Martin has delivered the first two F-16 Block 70 fighter jets to the Slovak Air Force, the company announced on January 10.
One of the aircraft is a two-seater version and displays registration 1101 in addition to SVK AF (Slovak Air Force) markings.
The European country has ordered a total of 14 aircraft of the most advanced variant of the fighter jet. They will be delivered by 2025, Lockheed Martin explained.
The arrival of the first group of F-16s in Slovakia will only occur in the middle of the year, the so-called “ferry cell”.
“The delivery of the first two F-16 Block 70 jets to Slovakia signifies a crucial starting point in bolstering the country’s defense capabilities. We are proud to be part of this endeavor and are committed to delivering a total of 14 jets to Slovakia,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager of the Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.
The F-16 returned to production after a hiatus of several years, when the original assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, was occupied by the production of the F-35 Lightning II fighter.
Lockheed then established a new assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina, which came into operation in 2022.
Currently, Lockheed Martin has 135 F-16 Block 70 in its backlog in addition to eight aircraft from a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) signed with Bulgaria.