Air Force awards $400M contract to support Iraqi F-16s

Air Force awards $400M contract to support Iraqi F-16s

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Sallyport Global Holdings a contract for base operations and security for Iraq's F-16 program.


The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, is valued at $400 million under the terms of a cost-plus-fixed-fee undefinitized contract.


Tuesday's contract will provide "base operations support, base life support, and security services," at Balad Air Base, some 40 miles north of Baghdad, Iraq, where work on the contract will be performed.


The contract is expected to be completed by January 2019, with $196 million in foreign military sales funds being obligated to Sallyport Global Holdings at the time of award.


For the last few years, Iraq has been purchasing F-16 fighter jets from the U.S. to bolster its air force. In 2014, the Iraqi air force accepted the first of 36 F-16 Block 52 fighters from Lockheed Martin.


The Lockheed Martin-produced F-16 Fighting Falcon has been in regular use by world militaries since the late 1970s because of its cost effectiveness and reliability. Iraq is one of 28 nations using the F-16, according to Lockheed.


The aircraft is a single- or dual-seat, single-engine multi-role tactical fighter jet that is highly maneuverable and can carry up to six AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, which can be swapped out for either AIM-7 Sparrow missiles or AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.


The F-16 also carries a 20mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon for use in aerial combat and strafing runs against ground targets.