Just a few days ago, for instance, the "trade" publication Defense News reported that Turkey and the United States signed a $1.78 billion deal for Lockheed Martin's F-16 fighter planes. As it happens, these planes are already ubiquitous--Israel flies them, so does the United Arab Emirates, Poland, South Korea, Venezuela, Oman and Portugal, not to speak of most other modern air forces. ... br> br>In order to remain number one in the competitive jet field, Lockheed Martin, for example, does far more than just sell airplanes. TAI--Turkey's aerospace corporation--will receive a boost with this sale, because Lockheed Martin is handing over responsibility for parts of production, assembly, and testing to Turkish workers. The Turkish Air Force already has 215 F-16 fighter planes and plans to buy 100 of Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well, in a deal estimated at $10.7 billion over the next 15 years.But she forgot to mention the best part! Right now, the Pentagon is paying Lockheed billions to build a new fleet of F-22 Raptor stealth fighters. The Air Force has justified the program, which has become something of a boondoggle, by pointing to the spread of U.S.-built F-16 and F-18 fighters around the world. Indeed, a few years back, Lockheed was circulating a promotional pamphlet for the F-22, which stressed the need to maintain U.S. "air superiority" by pointing to countries around the world that were either adversaries or potential adversaries. It turned out that most of those countries were worrisome because they had... fleets of U.S.-built F-16s. Arms sales really are the gift that keeps on giving.