F-22 'DNA': Why Lockheed Martin's New F-16 Block 70 Could Be Truly Deadly
The F-16 will still be flying for decades to come. There are still 3,000 operational F-16s are flying around the world with more than 25 different air forces. At least jets will have to be upgraded to the Block 70 standard as time goes on. The future is still bright for the F-16. Lockheed Martin has received a massive $1.12 billion contract from the U.S. government to produce 16 advanced F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcons for Bahrain. The “undefinitized contract action award” means that the Royal Bahraini Air Force will become the first operator of the most advanced and capable version of F-16 ever designed. Moreover, unlike previous versions of the F-16—which were built in Fort Worth, Texas—these new “Vipers” are to be manufactured in Greenville, South Carolina. With production of Lockheed Martin’s stealthy new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter ramping up while Fighting Falcon production is ramping down, the company was compelled to move the F-16 line to a smaller plant that could handle lower volumes. Nonetheless, the move represents a new beginning for the F-16, which is still expected to generate strong sales over the coming years.
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