Lockheed Martin is shifting production of its F-16 fighter jet from Texas to boost the South Carolina aerospace industry. As per News media outlets Greenville will be the house of the plane nicknamed as Fighting Falcon. The move is likely to produce about 250 jobs in Greenville.
The relocation will make room in Fort Worth for the newer F-35 jet fighters. “The space we use for the F-16 will be consumed by the F-35,” a spokesman told the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
The United States Air Force (USAF) has not purchased any F-16 since 1999, but Lockheed Martin has orders from several other countries.
The F-16 first entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1979. It was designed by General Dynamics, which sold its aircraft business to what is now Lockheed Martin in 1993. The company has produced and sold over 4,500 aircraft till date since production was approved in 1976.
Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Leslie Farmer says it will take about two years to begin production at an existing hangar in Greenville.
Its Greenville plant also is where the company plans to manufacture the new T-50A trainer aircraft if it is selected by the US government. T-50A is an “offshoot” of the F-16 design.