March 23 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's production in Texas of F-16 Fighting Falcons is to be moved to a facility in South Carolina beginning at the end of the year, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
"As part of our effort to make room for the F-35 production here in Fort Worth, the F-16 production line must be relocated," Ken Ross, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Fort Worth, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "The space we use for the F-16 will be consumed by the F-35."
After it deliver's the last F-16 being built for Iraq, in September, Lockheed will begin moving the F-16 production line to its facility in Greenville, S.C.
The number of Lockheed employees in Fort Worth working on F-16s number 200. It is expected they will transition to the F-35, the newspaper reported.
More than 4,500 F-16s have been delivered to customers since 1976, about 3,600 them built in Fort Worth. The fighter was first made by General Dynamics, which later sold its aircraft manufacturing business to Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin is ramping up to full production of F-35 Lightning II fighters and expects to produce 160 a year by 2019. It has no new order for F-16s beyond those being built for Iraq.