Demand for F-16 Falcon growing worldwide

Orders for Lockheed Martin's popular fighter may reach the 5,000 mark. There are currently F-16s being manufactured for Bahrain, Bulgaria and Slovakia

An Israeli Air Force F-16 Falcon during an exercise in Germany in August.  Photo: BIGSTOCK/Copyright: ArjanL

After the production line for the F-16 Falcon was almost closed a number of times, there has recently been a surge in orders for the fighter. Lockheed Martin now has a backlog of 130 orders for the plane, with several countries about to make additional orders, and there is a possibility of reaching a record number of orders – 5,000. 

The vice president of Lockheed Martin, Michelle Evans, told about the increase in business in an interview with Air Force Magazine. The company is manufacturing planes for Bahrain, Bulgaria and Slovakia at the company's plant in Greenville, South Carolina, "and can see possibly getting up to 5,000," Evans said. The pace of production is four planes a month, and the plant in Greenville has hired 400 new workers. 

Morocco and Taiwan are potential purchasers of the planes in the near future. India ordered an advanced version of the plane that will be produced locally in cooperation with domestic company TATA. The plan is for Lockheed Martin to produce 114 planes under license in India.   

According to Vice President Evans, there are countries that purchased F-35 stealth fighters and are now ordering F-16 planes to complete their air forces. The US Air Force is also interested in advanced versions of the Falcon. The current backlog for the F-16 ensures that production will continue until 2025.

You might be interested also