Lockheed Martin’s ‘New’ F-16 Block 70 Fighting Falcon Has F-22 and F-35 DNA

    Dave Majumdar

    Security,

    At the core of the F-16 Block 70 is the Northrop Grumman APG-83 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar, which is based on technology leveraged from the F-22 Raptor and the F-35.

    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.

    “We value our long-standing relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and look forward to beginning production activities on their first Block 70 aircraft at our facility in Greenville,” Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Program, said. “This sale highlights the significant, growing demand we see for new production F-16s around the globe.”

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