There was a time when the F-16 production line was laying dormant, having been relocated from Fort Worth, Texas to Greenville, South Carolina. However, thanks to the surge of new customers, this once-stagnant line is now humming with activity.
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Currently, the Greenville facility has an order of 136 state-of-the-art F-16 Block 70/72 versions in the pipeline. With a potential contract from Jordan on the horizon, this figure could soon rise to 148 units.
The production facility in Greenville is not just up and running, but expanding. Last year, the first F-16, a long-standing order from Oman, finally rolled out. This year, the second fighter jet took to the skies in February.
Lockheed Martin’s management team informed Defense24 that they expect to build 5-8 more aircraft this year. By 2024 and 2025, production is projected to skyrocket, churning out up to three squadrons. “By 2025, we anticipate producing 4 new F-16s per month, equating to 48 per year,” shared the corporation’s ambitious plans.
Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Poland
According to reports, current aircraft orders are projected to be fulfilled by 2027 or 2028. The Polish F-16s are not expected until post-2028, with Slovakia and Bulgaria also eagerly awaiting their turn. These countries need these aircraft to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank. The biggest F-16 customer to date is Taiwan, with a purchase of 66. Turkey is also hoping to join the ranks of new customers, pending US approval for a purchase of 40 aircraft.
“With over 3,000 F-16s worldwide, including 700 in Europe, the F-16’s presence is undeniable. The new F-16 Block 70s boasts a 12,000-hour flight time, outlasting most modern fighters. Consequently, the F-16 will continue to fly alongside the F-35 in Europe and the world for many years,” noted the corporation.
Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 production line is reaching new heights, serving 140 countries per year. The corporation revealed, “We’re continually ramping up F-35 production, and we don’t foresee an end to this upward trend anytime soon.”
Greenville, South Carolina has a long history of involvement in the production of F-16 Viper squadrons. The Greenville facility is owned and operated by Lockheed Martin, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Lockheed Martin has been producing F-16s in Greenville since 1984, and the facility has played a key role in the production of the aircraft ever since.
Over the years, the Greenville facility has produced thousands of F-16s for the US Air Force and for foreign militaries around the world. The F-16 is one of the most successful fighter aircraft in history, and Greenville has been a major contributor to its success. The facility has also been involved in the production of other aircraft, including the C-130 Hercules and the P-3 Orion.
In recent years, the Greenville facility has undergone significant upgrades and modernization efforts to improve its production capabilities. These upgrades have included the installation of new equipment and technology, as well as the hiring of additional skilled workers. As a result, the facility is now capable of producing four F-16 Viper squadrons per year, which is a significant increase from its previous production capacity.
The production of F-16 Viper squadrons in Greenville is expected to have a significant impact on the local economy. The facility employs thousands of workers, and the production of additional squadrons is expected to create even more jobs. In addition, the production of F-16s is a major source of revenue for Lockheed Martin, which is expected to benefit the company and its shareholders.
The production line in Greenville is unique because it is the only F-16 production line in the United States. It is also the only production line that is capable of producing the latest version of the F-16, known as the F-16V.
The F-16 production line in Greenville includes a variety of processes, including the assembly of the aircraft’s fuselage, wings, and tail. The production line also includes the installation of the aircraft’s avionics, engines, and weapons systems.
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