Warplanes: May 14, 2001


Italy has formally signed the lease for 34 used F-16s from the US. These will be used to replace F-104s and Tornadoes until the Eurofighters arrive in 2010 (or later). The aircraft include 30 F-16A (Block 15) Air Defense Fighters and four F-16B (Block 10) two-seat operational trainers. Lockheed Martin will receive a $313 million contract to provide support. The F-16s will arrive in 2003. The five-year lease includes an option to extend it another five years.--Stephen V Cole


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