GREENVILLE, S.C., Jan. 24,
2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]
today announced the successful first flight of the F-16 Block 70 at
its Greenville, South Carolina
The flight occurred Jan. 24 at
9:17 a.m. ET, with Lockheed Martin
test pilots Dwayne "Pro" Opella and Monessa "Siren" Balzhiser at
the helm. Total flight time was approximately 50 minutes and
included airworthiness checks, such as engine, flight control and
fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.
"Today's successful flight is a testament of the hard work,
dedication and commitment to our customers and their missions,"
said OJ Sanchez, vice president, Integrated Fighter Group, which
includes the F-16 program. "This milestone demonstrates Lockheed
Martin's commitment to advancing this program and getting this
much-needed aircraft and its advanced 21st Century
Security capabilities to the warfighter."
This F-16 Block 70 jet is the first of 16 jets to be delivered
to Bahrain. Six countries have
selected Block 70/72 aircraft. In addition to the current official
backlog of 128 jets to-date to be built in Greenville, Jordan last year signed a Letter of Offer and
Acceptance (LOA) for eight jets and last week signed an additional
LOA for four more jets. Lockheed Martin has received a contract to
begin Jordan's long-lead
activities. Bulgaria has also
signed an LOA for an additional eight jets for its fleet. Once
these are finalized, the backlog will increase to 148.
"Lockheed Martin is fully committed to delivering quality
platforms for our customers' critical missions, and I am so proud
of our talented team in Greenville," said Danya Trent, F-16 Vice President and Site Lead
in Greenville. "This is the
culmination of significant development, design, digital
engineering, supply chain and production line advances to an
already proven platform that will continue to deliver decades of
service in support of customers' national security."
Click here for first flight video footage.
About the F-16
The F-16 is a strategic and valuable choice for many customers
around the world seeking advanced, 4th generation fighter aircraft
capabilities, regional and worldwide partnerships, and affordable
lifecycle costs. 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.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda,
Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security
and aerospace company that employs approximately 114,000 people
worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design,
development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced
technology systems, products and services.
Please follow @LMNews on Twitter for the latest
announcements and news across the corporation.
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SOURCE Lockheed Martin Aeronautics