© Lockheed Martin General | April 24, 2019
Lockheed Martin unveils new F-16 line in South Carolina
Lockheed Martin has unveiled its F-16 production line in a newly refurbished hangar in Greenville, South Carolina, where it will begin manufacturing F-16 Block 70 aircraft later this year. The production line is outfitted with F-16 tooling and equipment previously housed in Fort Worth, Texas.
The new line will bring 400 new jobs to the Greenville facility. F-16 production also supports hundreds of U.S.-based Lockheed Martin engineering, procurement, sustainment and customer support jobs and thousands of U.S. supplier jobs. A significant portion of F-16 production occurs in the supply chain, which currently includes more than 400 U.S. suppliers in 41 states. Demand is taking off for the new production F-16s and F-16V upgrades. Bahrain became the first F-16 Block 70 customer in June 2018, Slovakia signed a Letter of Agreement in December 2018 for 14 Block 70 aircraft, and Bulgaria and the U.S. Government are currently negotiating Bulgaria's planned acquisition of new F-16 Block 70 aircraft. The U.S. State Department also recently approved the proposed sale of 25 new production F-16 Block 72 aircraft and F-16V upgrades for Morocco. "This is a great day for Greenville and South Carolina," said U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. "We have the best workforce in the country and now we are going to build the most advanced F-16 ever right here in the Palmetto State." "South Carolina's workforce is second to none, and the fact that Lockheed Martin continues to invest and put its faith in South Carolinians to build the newest F-16s in Greenville speaks volumes about our state and the company," said South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. "Every person who calls South Carolina home should be proud that the F-16 is made right here in the Palmetto state." To date, 4,588 F-16s have been produced, and there are approximately 3,000 operational F-16s are in service today in 25 countries.