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Fri, Mar 20, 2009

Lockheed Martin, Greece Celebrate 'Peace Xenia IV' Inauguration

First Block 52 Advanced F-16 Delivered To Hellenic Air Force

Ceremonies were held Thursday at Lockheed Martin's headquarters in Fort Worth, TX to commemorate the F-16 Peace Xenia IV program for Greece, and delivery of the first Block 52 Advanced F-16s under the agreement.

This F-16 acquisition is the fourth for the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) and the nation of Greece. Lt. Gen. Ioannis Giagkos, chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, accepted the first Peace Xenia IV F-16 Block 52 advanced aircraft on behalf of his nation and expressed satisfaction with its timely delivery.

"I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the design and construction of this ultra-modern weapon system. With these new aircraft, the defense and deterrent force of the Hellenic Air Force will be significantly enhanced," he said.

"Lockheed Martin is pleased that through this government-to-government agreement, we are able to offer for the first time, a fully integrated and comprehensive weapon system, including a self-protection system, weapons and other subsystems which make this advanced version of the F-16 particularly effective for the operational needs of the Hellenic Air Force," said Dennys Plessas, vice president of business development for Lockheed in Greece. "The recent completion of the infrastructure facilities as a special project in conjunction with this aircraft buy at Araxos Air Base, 116 Combat Wing guarantees the immediate use of this weapon system by the Hellenic Air Force."

The Peace Xenia IV purchase program raises the total fighters ordered by the HAF to 170. The aircraft rolled out Thursday is the first of 30 Block 52 Advanced F-16s being produced in the newest lot; the HAF received the F-16 Block 30 version starting in 1988, the Block 50 version starting in 1997 and the Block 52+ version in 2003.

The Peace Xenia IV program includes 20 F-16Cs and 10 F-16Ds, all powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engine. The first aircraft -- a single-seat F-16C model -- was accepted by the US government (as agent for Greece in the Foreign Military Sales process) in January 2009, one month ahead of schedule. The US government also accepted the first two-seat F-16D version in January. The first four aircraft will be ferried to Greece in May with the remainder following in 2009 and 2010.

FMI: www.lockheedmartin.com, www.hellas.org/military/air_force

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