Lockheed Martin will resume production of the F-16 fighter in 2023

Production was temporarily halted in 2018 as the North American manufacturer prepared a new factory to receive the aircraft’s assembly line.

One of the most popular fighter jets in the US military aircraft industry, with 4,604 units produced, the iconic F-16 Fighting Falcon will return to series production at Lockheed Martin starting next year, he revealed to Reuters the manufacturer’s financial director, Jesus Malave.

Production of the aircraft was halted in 2018 at Lockheed Martin’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, making room for the new F-35 fighter assembly line, which became the focus of the facility. Meanwhile, the US company has set up a new factory in Greenville, South Carolina, to continue production of the F-16. The unit was inaugurated last year.

According to Malave, the first copies of the new batches of the F-16 (Block 70/72) will be delivered in 2024. The company still has a backlog of almost 130 orders for the fighter from various customers, including the Bahrain Air Force, Taiwan, Slovakia – other potential buyers are Bulgaria and Jordan.

The resumption of F-16 production scheduled for 2023 will take place with about a year delay. According to Lockheed Martin’s CFO, the delay was due to the difficulty in hiring the new workforce and training employees, which he called a “small challenge” for the company beyond what was expected. “There is a lot of interest in the aircraft,” Malave said, adding that the unit in Greenville is likely to produce up to three F-16s a month.

Originally designed by General Dynamics, the F-16 first flew nearly 50 years ago, on January 20, 1974, in what can be considered an “accidental takeoff”. In 1993, the program was taken over by the then Lockheed Corporation, which would later change its name to Lockheed Martin after merging with the Martin Marietta Corporation in 1995. The fighter is currently in service in 25 countries.

F-16V Block 70/72

Source link

About Admin

Check Also

Video game tax breaks may be revoked

According to Estadão, the reduction in taxes on video games may end up being revoked …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *