Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Iraqi Air Force received a batch of two F-16IQs

Two new F-16IQs arrived today to Balad AB, this brings to six the number of aircraft in service in the 9th Fighter Squadron. The two aircrafts were previously affected to 152nd Fighter Squadron part of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing which operates the Air Force's international F-16 training academy. The two aircrafts, serial "1614" (RA-08) and serial "1612" (RA-06) previously seen at NAS Fort Worth on 16th and 20th September 2015, were spotted at Lajes/Azores on January 27th.

Copyright Tiago Silva (Source : http://theaircraftspotting.blogspot.fr/)

Copyright Andre Inacio (Source : http://militaryaviationreview.com)
In January 2011, Iraq signed an initial contract for 3 USD billion for the acquisition of 18 F-16C/D Block 52s (12 F-16Cs and 6 F-16Ds) for a initial delivery between 2014 and 2015. In October 2012, 18 more F-16C/Ds (still 12 F-16Cs and 6 F-16Ds) were ordered for a delivery between 2017 and 2018. On May 2nd, 2014, the first Iraqi F-16IQ (F-16D serial 1601) made its first flight in the sky of Forth Worth. Initially, they had to arrive in their Iraqi base in September 2014, but the progression of the Islamic state militants on all the country stopped this transfer together with the fact that Balad AB was not ready and enough secure. On July 13th, 2015, two F-16IQs (serial 1607 and 1610), and two F-16D (serial 1601 and 1604) landed at Balad AB and joined the new 9th Fighter Squadron. The two photos below show the two new vipers in Balad AB.

Update February 3nd : The video below show this arrival with an interview of Iraqi Air Force commander, Staff Lieutenant General Anwar Hamad Amin :

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