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

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The delivery of F-16 fighters to Iraq is on track for next fall, a senior U.S. administration official said on Wednesday, with Iraq recently depositing an installment of roughly $650 million for the jets. The official said the issue of the F-16's was not raised during a breakfast on Wednesday with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Vice President Joe Biden. "That program is generally on track and obviously has bumps in the road as anything as complicated this does, but their pilots are in training, and the program is on track," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters. Iraq last year signed a new contract to buy its second set of 18 F-16 fighters from the United States, part of a deal to purchase 36 of the jets to rebuild its air force. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Vicki Allen)