F-16IQ Block 52 Fighters shot in Arizona
Iraq has taken delivery of the first of 36 ordered Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 52 jets destined to rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.
Sporting the brand new, exotic two-tone grey camo, the first four F-16IQ Block 52 jets were delivered to Tucson, Arizona, beginning in December 2014.
The F-16IQ jets will be stationed in the U.S. until air bases are readied for the new planes and, above all, secured; in the meanwhile, the Iraqi pilots can be trained in a safe environment by the U.S. instructors of the Arizona ANG’s 162nd Wing, that already own an established experience with foreign students from the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Japan.
The training pipeline includes 14 Iraqi student pilots which will get qualified and combat capabable with the Fighting Falcon in about 300 flying hours. Then, they will return to their home and defend their own country with the new jet.
The Aviationist’s photographer Tony Lovelock was at Tucson at the beginning of February and took the pictures of the Iraqi F-16C and D models involved in local training sorties.
Image credit: Tony Lovelock