On the 45th anniversary of the F-16 lightweight fighter’s first flight, Lockheed Martin faces the very real prospect of turning off “Fighting Falcon” production as prospective customers like Pakistan struggle to clear the U.S. government’s regulatory and funding processes.
After assembling more than 4,500 F-16s in almost 140 different configurations, the Fort Worth, Texas, production line is thawing from hot to lukewarm and could go cold by “about the end of 2017” after Lockheed delivers the remaining seven of 36 Iraqi F-16IQs.
Lockheed’s F-16 program chief Susan Ouzts said last week that several countries have expressed a strong preference for the F-16 to the U.S. government but the nearest opportunity is an almost $700 million deal with Pakistan for eight Block 52 jets powered by Pratt & Whitney F100-229s.
For the complete story by James Drew of Flightglobal, click here.
Photo by U.S. Air Force