U.S. Air Force extends service life for Lockheed’s F-16

Lockheed Martin, Fort Worth, TX, Photo by Neal Chapman F-16 block 50 full scale durability test Customer: Richard Luke Location: Building 7

The F-16 has been built at Lockheed’s Fort Worth plant, but the company recently announced it is moving production of F-16 fighter jets from Texas to South Carolina.

Local media outlets reported the company is moving production of F-16s to Greenville to make room for expanded production of the newer F-35 jet fighters in Fort Worth. Most of the F-16 workers in Fort Worth will transfer over to F-35 production, according to Lockheed officials.

Following F-16 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) structural modifications, the U.S. Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond, according to a Lockheed news release. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin also reduced projected service life costs for the Block 40-52 fleet, paving the way for safe, cost-effective F-16 flight operations decades into the future, according to the company.

“This accomplishment is the result of more than seven years of test, development, design, analysis and partnership between the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin,” said Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 program. “Combined with F-16 avionics modernization programs like the F-16V, SLEP modifications demonstrate that the Fighting Falcon remains a highly capable and affordable 4th Generation option for the U.S. Air Force and international F-16 customers.”