Lockheed-Martin Inks $14 Billion Deal to Produce F-16 Fighter Jets for Foreign Markets

F-16 10 photos
Photo: Lockheed Martin
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is one of the greatest American military success stories. Almost 50 years after its first flight back in 1974, the F-16 still attracts the attention of domestic and foreign militaries across the globe. On October 25th,2021, Lockheed-Martin, the firm assigned to maintaining the F-16 fleet since 1993, announced they’d received yet another large contract order.
The contract, worth an estimated $14 billion, has Lockheed-Martin committing to the production of at least 128 more F-16’s between 2021 and 2026 for customers like the Bahranian, Slovakian, Bulgarian, and Taiwanese Air Forces, among others. These nations covet the F-16 for its rugged dependability, weaponry options, and the ability to keep up with modern fifth-gen fighters worth many times its price.

Lockheed-Martin has committed to expanding its Greenville, South Carolina production facility by as many as 300 highly skilled laborers to keep up with demand. The Greenville facility opened in 1992 with only 12 employees. After the expansion of the workforce is completed, that number will total over a thousand employees.

Many of these positions are on the leading edge of our digital engineering efforts on our F-16 production line,” said Danya Trent, vice president for the F-16 program. Over four thousand Fighting Falcons have rolled off the assembly line since the late 1970s via the plane’s original designers at General Dynamics and then Lockheed-Martin after its acquisition of the program in the early 1990s.

The type has served as the testbed for such experimental aircraft as the Mitsubishi F-2, the special Japanese exclusive variant, and the F-16XL program that served as a delta-winged technology demonstrator. Still, the original version remains the model most ingrained in the hearts and minds of aviation fans.

If you happen to possess one of the skill sets vital for the construction of military aircraft technology, it probably couldn’t hurt to send in a resume.
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