Warplanes: April 7, 2001


Italy has selected the F-16 as its interim defense fighter, and will lease 34 of these aircraft from the US from 2003 (when the F-104s retire) until Eurofighter Typhoons are available in 2009. Italy picked the F-16s over other choices (MiG-29s, French Mirage-2000-5s, or extending the lease on the British Tornadoes now in Italian service).--Stephen V Cole




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