F-16 jet delivery to Iraq on track for next fall -U.S. official


WASHINGTON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The delivery of F-16 fightersto Iraq is on track for next fall, a senior U.S. administrationofficial said on Wednesday, with Iraq recently depositing aninstallment of roughly $650 million for the jets.

The official said the issue of the F-16's was not raisedduring a breakfast on Wednesday with visiting Iraqi PrimeMinister Nuri al-Maliki and Vice President Joe Biden.

"That program is generally on track and obviously has bumpsin the road as anything as complicated this does, but theirpilots are in training, and the program is on track," theofficial, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

Iraq last year signed a new contract to buy its second setof 18 F-16 fighters from the United States, part of a deal topurchase 36 of the jets to rebuild its air force.

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