(Video) Lockheed Martin’s first Block 70/72 F-16 fighter jet unveiled in Taiwan 66 aircraft expected to be delivered in 2026

[新頭殼newtalk] Lockheed Martin has shown the full look of the “first” F-16 Viper fighter jet to roll off the production line in South Carolina. The jet, one of 16 the company is building for Bahrain and the first new production F-16 in the Block 70/72 configuration, is expected to fly early next year.

According to “The War Zone” today (23), Lockheed Martin confirmed that the jet has recently completed the final assembly and inspection (FACO) and paint stages of production. The jet is currently on its way to prepare for its first flight.

According to the report, Sanchez, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Integrated Fighter Group, posted on LinkedIn on the 22nd local time that the jet was an outstanding achievement for the Greenville plant in South Carolina. better prospects.

It is our understanding that Lockheed Martin announced in 2017 that it would transfer F-16 production from its main production plant in Fort Worth, Texas to its Greenville, South Carolina plant, which is the only F-16 production and upgrade facility in the world. .factory. The advanced Block 70/72 variant of the F-16 sparked buying interest in many countries and translated into large orders.

The Greenville line is said to have received orders for 128 F-16s, including 16 for Bahrain. Lockheed Martin confirmed that Slovakia, Bulgaria, Taiwan and another undisclosed country have also ordered F-16 Block 70/72 fighters.

In addition, Lockheed Martin is expected to sign an agreement with Jordan for eight new F-16Vs, and the Bulgarian authorities have also approved a plan to purchase the second batch of fighter jets Future orders are expected to grow rapidly .

According to reports, the Block 70/72 configuration is an upgraded version developed on the basis of the F-16 Viper fighter jet. The Vipers that received these upgrades were redesignated the F-16V. Taiwan has upgraded 143 F-16A/B fighters in active service with the “Fengzhan Project”. They will be reviewed and accepted into the military in 2021. It is expected that they will all be upgraded to F-16V in 2023. In addition, Taiwan has drawn up a special budget of 250 billion for the “Project Fengyang” to buy 66 new Block 70/72 F-16 fighters.

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