A FURTHER six Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52s have arrived at Balad Air Base, Iraq, to join the Iraqi Air Force’s (IqAF’s) 9 (Fighter) Squadron. The aircraft, the seventh batch to arrive in the country, arrived at the base on April 6 after a ferry flight from the USA. They were welcomed at Balad by the Commander of the IqAF.
The first four aircraft to arrive at Balad (two F-16Cs and two F-16Ds) had been delivered in on July 13, 2015. A second batch, comprising two more F-16Cs, followed on January 27, 2016. The third batch comprised four aircraft (three F-16Cs and one F-16D), which arrived on August 7, 2016. The fourth batch (four F-16Cs) was delivered in November 2016, the fifth (a further four aircraft) followed in March 2017 and the sixth batch (three aircraft) arrived in September 2017. Arrival of the additional six in the latest batch brings the total number of the type at Balad to 27. An eighth batch, comprising five more aircraft, is due to arrive before the end of April.