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Lockheed delivers first sustainment depot F-16 to US Air Force

F-16 sustainment depot program in South Carolina
First USAF F-16 fighter arriving at Greenville, SC, for maintenance in March 2021. Photo: Lockheed Martin

US defense contractor Lockheed Martin says it has delivered the US Air Force’s first F-16 jet to be overhauled as part of the F-16 sustainment depot program in South Carolina.

Lockheed Martin was originally selected for the US Air Force’s $900 million F-16 sustainment depot program in December 2020, and the first jet arrived in Greenville, South Carolina, for work in spring 2021.

“This was the first fighter sustainment work awarded to the site, and with F-16 production also well underway in Greenville, the site is now the global home of the F-16,” says Danya Trent, Lockheed Martin vice president, F-16 Program.

The company added it is hiring for more than 300 new jobs by the end of 2022 to support both F-16 sustainment and production.

With twelve dock spaces in their Lockheed Martin Greenville Operations facility, the company established the first ever US based F-16 industry depot to support the government-owned depot facilities. There are currently two overseas F-16 contract depots, one in Europe and the other in the Pacific.

F-16s make up the largest fleet of fighters in the Air Force, approximately 45 percent of the fleet, and will remain a viable weapon system well into the future.

Back in 2020, the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center said several funded modernization and structural programs would significantly increase the depot level workload in upcoming years as the priority is to operate the F-16 for decades to come.

The CONUS depot has the potential to support the approximately 2,000 F-16’s currently operating in 25 partner nations.