Associated Press A Lockheed Martin F-6 Fighting Falcon performs during a demonstration flight at the 49th Paris Air Show at le Bourget airport in June 2011.
Iraq has yet to publicly announce completion of the deal to buy 18 F-16s, but officials in Washington said an initial payment of $1.5 billion has been received.
The deal is considered sensitive in Iraq, and the Pentagon and State Department have declined to comment until Baghdad makes a formal announcement. Iraq had plans to buy the planes earlier this year, but froze them for a time following the Arab Spring protests across the region.
The decision by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to go forward with the purchase followed an unexpected surge in government oil revenue, officials said.
Iraq has said the 18 fighters would be the country's first installment. Baghdad hopes to buy as many as 36 jets in total, pending U.S. approval.
The U.S. believes the deal will help counter Iranian influences in Iraq and cement long-term ties with Baghdad after American troops pull out.
The planes are made by Lockheed Martin (external - login to view) Corp. Laura Siebert, a Lockheed spokeswoman, confirmed that the U.S. and Iraqi governments had agreed on the sale of 18 advanced Block 52 F-16s. "We look forward to supporting the two governments in this foreign military sales program and welcome Iraq as the 26th nation to operate the F-16," she said.
More: Iraq Completes Deal to Buy F-16s - WSJ.com (external - login to view)