Slovakia Officially Claims First Two F-16 Fighter Jets in USA

Slovakia Officially Claims First Two F-16 Fighter Jets in USA
A Polish F-16 fighter jet at the Slovak International Air Fest 2019 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava/Greenville, March 1 (TASR) - Slovakia has officially claimed its first two US-made F-16 fighter aircraft, with the handover ceremony taking place at the Lockheed Martin factory in Greenville, South Carolina in the presence of Slovak Defence Minister Robert Kalinak (Smer-SD), TASR learnt on Friday.
Both aircraft will be used in the USA to train Slovak technicians before their departure to Slovakia.
The delivery of the F-16 fighters will mark the beginning of a new era for Slovakia's supersonic air force, agreed Kalinak and Lockheed Martin vice-president OJ Sanchez. The Defence Ministry noted that Slovakia will be the first European country to have the latest F-16 version. According to the ministry, the fighter jets will help to ensure that Slovakia will once again protect its airspace with its own resources.
Slovakia concluded a contract for a total of fourteen US-made F-16 C/D Block 70 fighter aircraft in late 2018. The delivery of the jets has been delayed due to the pandemic. The first of the aircraft should arrive in Slovakia in mid-2024.