Seems like everyone these days wants an F-16, the fighter jet that flies twice the speed of sound, doesn’t quite fit into a three-car garage, and costs around $18.8 million each. (Unless you want to pick up a used 1980 model in Palm Beach, Florida, for just $8.5 million.)
Today, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Morocco, Slovakia and Taiwan are among Lockheed Martin Corp.’s newest customers for the defense contractor’s venerable Fighting Falcon, built right here in Greenville, in a contract totaling as much as $62 billion over the next 10 years.
“My initial reaction was, ‘Wow, we’re going to be really busy for a long time,’” says Mike Fox, Lockheed Greenville’s site director and general manager. “Yes, that is a lot of orders, but I have full confidence in our team’s ability to deliver on these orders and any others we may receive.”
At its South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center campus, Lockheed’s F-16 manufacturing operations have been ramping up since 2017.