Lockheed Martin announced it has delivered the first F-16 jet as part of the F-16 Sustainment Depot program back to the U.S. Air Force. Lockheed Martin was originally selected for the U.S. Air Force’s F-16 Sustainment Depot program in December 2020, and the first jet arrived in Greenville, South Carolina for work in spring 2021. More than 3,000 F-16s are operating today in 25 countries. The F-16 has flown an estimated 19.5 million flight hours and at least 13 million sorties. Today’s latest version, the Block 70/72, offers unparalleled capabilities and will be flown by at least five countries beginning in the mid-2020s.
The F-16s are used by customers in 25 countries, and more than 3,000 units are currently operational. Meet the F-16 Block 70/72 – the newest and most advanced F-16 equipped with new capabilities based on the advanced F-16V configuration. It provides a new aircraft structure that lasts 50% longer than previous production F-16 aircraft. The proven F-16 offers advanced interoperable capabilities that enhance partnerships with allies. Its affordable lifecycle cost allows the F-16 to remain the best value among 4th generation jets. New production F-16s leverage structural and capability upgrades that ensure the international F-16 fleet can operate to 2060 and beyond.
Lockheed Martin has more than 36 years of weapon integration experience with the F-16. No other organization can match this weapons integration experience. In concert with the U.S. Air Force and multiple F-16 Foreign Military Sales customers, Lockheed Martin has certified more than 3,300 carriage and release configurations for greater that 180 weapon and store types. Another key feature of the F-16 Block 70 configuration is the new Center Pedestal Display (CPD), which provides critical tactical imagery to pilots on a high-resolution 6”x 8” screen. The high-resolution display allows pilots to take full advantage of AESA and targeting pod data.
The company provides full lifecycle support to the warfighter from development, production and sustainment to ensure mission readiness. On the F-16, Lockheed Martin is hiring for more than 300 new jobs by the end of 2022 to support both F-16 sustainment and production. These new roles represent Lockheed Martin’s long-standing commitment to meet customers’ current and future needs, and to bring more jobs to the Greenville area. Many of these positions are on the leading edge of Lockheed Martin’s digital engineering efforts – using advanced technologies and automation to reduce cost, decrease span time and improve product quality.