Slovakia to Soon Become First European Nation to Operate F-16 Block 70 Aircraft

First group of jets is expected to arrive in Slovakia mid-2024
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 05:24 AM, January 11, 2024
  • 822
Slovakia to Soon Become First European Nation to Operate F-16 Block 70 Aircraft
Slovakian F-16 jet

The Slovak Republic received the first two F-16 Block 70 jets from Lockheed Martin, positioning it as the first European nation to operate the latest and most advanced version of the Fighting Falcon.

Lockheed Martin announced the successful delivery of the initial pair of Slovakian F-16 Block 70 jets on Wednesday.

Bulgaria has also joined the ranks, signing a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for an additional eight F-16 Block 70 jets for its own fleet.

Slovakia to Soon Become First European Nation to Operate F-16 Block 70 Aircraft
Slovakian F-16 jet

Deliveries for Slovakia are scheduled to continue through 2025, with the first group of jets, known as a ferry cell, expected to arrive in Slovakia by mid-2024. This substantial procurement effort stems from Slovakia's €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion at the time) contract signed in December 2018. The contract includes a comprehensive package comprising Raytheon AIM-120C7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs), AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, training, and support.

The F-16C/D Block 70/72, also known as the F-16V in remanufactured form, is the latest variant, featuring the Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 AESA radar (SABR), a new Raytheon mission computer, Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and ground-collision avoidance. These aircraft will replace Slovakia's retired Russian MiG-29 'Fulcrum' aircraft, which have been generously donated to Ukraine.

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