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Lockheed Martin, U.S., Italian Officials Celebrate F-16 'Peace Caesar' Delivery
PRNewswire-FirstCall
FORT WORTH, Texas

Lockheed Martin officials, along with officers from the United States and Italian Air Forces, celebrated the delivery today of the first of 34 F-16 fighter jets to be provided to Italy under a program known as Peace Caesar. The ceremony took place at Trapani Air Base, Italy.

"We are proud to stand side-by-side today with our Italian partners to accept delivery of this remarkable jet aircraft," said John Bean, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program. "The Peace Caesar program not only increases Italy's national defense capabilities, it enhances the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Italian government. It is a growing friendship strengthened by international cooperation and partnerships that date back to the 1960s."

The Italian Air Force chose the leased F-16 option as the most cost- effective solution to replace its aging fleet of Tornado and F-104 fighters. The lease is for five years with a five-year follow-on option. Four non- flyable F-16 aircraft are being supplied for generation of spare parts.

Approximately 100 Italian Air Force maintenance officers, instructors and technicians received F-16 maintenance training at Lockheed Martin facilities in Fort Worth, Texas. Italian instructors in Italy will train additional Italian maintenance technicians.

The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also are providing other types of logistics support as part of the Peace Caesar Foreign Military Sales program, to include supply chain management and full engineering technical services.

The F-16 is the choice of 24 countries. More than 4,000 aircraft have been delivered, hundreds more are on order, and production is expected to continue beyond 2010. Major upgrades for all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft's long service life.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin Corp. employs about 125,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2002 sales of $26.6 billion.

   For additional information, visit our Web sites:
   http://www.lockheedmartin.com/
   http://www.lmaeronautics.com/

  F-16 is a registered trademark of Lockheed Martin Corp.

SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

CONTACT: Liz Brannan, +1-817-935-4833, or +1-817-762-1441, or
liz.brannan@lmco.com , or Sam Grizzle, +1-770-494-3211, or
sam.c.grizzle@lmco.com , both of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company