Home Air Slovakia welcomes initial duo of F-16 Block 70 fighters

Slovakia welcomes initial duo of F-16 Block 70 fighters

Photo: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin announced the successful delivery of the first two F-16 Block 70 fighters for Slovakia, marking the country as the first in Europe to acquire the Block 70 F-16 for its armed forces.

In September last year, test pilot Ryan ‘Cujo’ Blake conducted vital system tests at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Greenville, South Carolina, affirming the fighter’s capabilities. This milestone is part of a broader initiative, with Lockheed Martin gearing up to deliver a total of 14 F-16 Block 70 fighters to Slovakia.

The recent delivery of the first two jets not only marks progress in this initiative but also signifies Slovakia’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities as the country prepares to replace the MiG-29 fighters it donated to Ukraine.

 “The integration of this proven platform will allow the Slovak Air Force to effectively safeguard its borders and partner with allies across Europe, NATO, and the world. We stand committed to our mission of advancing 21st-century security through cost-effective operations and strategic partnerships, ensuring the safety and well-being of US allies,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager of the Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.

Additionally, Bulgaria has entered into a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for an extra eight jets to augment its fleet. Upon the completion of the agreement, the backlog will see an additional eight aircraft.

Meanwhile, deliveries to Slovakia are set to extend until 2025, and the initial batch of jets, referred to as a ferry cell, is anticipated to reach Slovakia by mid-2024.