Three Middle East nations considering F-16 orders

Fort Worth Star-TelegramJuly 14, 2011 

Prospects may be improving for Lockheed Martin to soon book more orders for Fort Worth-built F-16 fighter jets.

Iraq's on-again, off-again plans for buying F-16s may be back on again. In addition, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly again talking to the U.S. government and Lockheed about F-16s after they could not agree on terms for buying French fighter jets.

Lockheed officials confirmed reports that they had been in contact with the three Middle East nations about F-16 sales, but they declined to provide specifics.

"The potential for international sales is still strong," Lockheed spokeswoman Laura Siebert said. "We've been in constant dialogue with the U.S. Air Force about the needs of Iraq. There has been dialogue with U.A.E. They want more F-16s."

An Air Force official in the foreign military sales department could not be reached Wednesday for comment.

Lockheed is eager to book new F-16 orders to keep its production and supply lines running, both at the company's Fort Worth plant and among major suppliers locally and around the world.

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