The Iraqi Air Force accepted its first of 36 F-16s at a ceremony Thursday morning in Fort Worth.
Lockheed Martin made the F-16s, which are flown all over the world. The company said it’s a tremendous honor to help rebuild the Iraqi Air Force.
“From my view, this is a once in a lifetime career opportunity to be vested with this kind of responsibility,” said Orland Carvalho, Lockheed Martin Executive Vice President.
Ambassadors from Iraq said they are confident the F-16s will help them protect their borders and fight terrorism.
This is also the 40th anniversary for the F-16s.
Since production started on this aircraft, Lockheed Martin officials said the F-16 has evolved quite a bit. To this day, they call it the backbone of the U.S. Air Force.
Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 4,500 F-16s all over the world.
Company officials said they will continue to produce the aircraft and make improvements through 2017.