Lockheed Martin rolled out the first F-16 Block 70 fighter being built for the Royal Bahraini Air Force.
The Kingdom of Bahrain became the first operator of F-16s in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the 1990s, and now, will be the first to receive the aircraft’s most advanced variant, the F-16 Block 70.
Bahraini, American and Lockheed Martin officials celebrated the first F-16 Block 70 at Greenville, South Carolina on March 10.
This F-16 Block 70 jet is the first of 16 jets for Bahrain, and took its first flight on Jan. 24, 2023. From here, it will begin additional flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base before arriving in Bahrain in 2024.
Six countries have selected Block 70/72 aircraft. In addition to the current official backlog of 127 jets to-date to be built in Greenville, Jordan has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) for 12 jets and Lockheed Martin has received a contract to begin its long-lead activities. Bulgaria has also signed an LOA for an additional eight jets for its fleet. Once these are finalized, the backlog will increase to 147.