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Lockheed Martin still moving F-16 production to South Carolina

Lockheed Martin has said it will continue with plans to move its F-16 production line to Greenville, S.C., as previously announced, following a partnership announcement Monday to move production to India.

By
Stephen Carlson
Lockheed Martin on Monday announced a deal to move production of the F-16 Block 70 fighter to India, but will continue with plans to move production from its Fort Worth, Texas, plant to Greenville, S.C., until the India deal is finalized. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force
Lockheed Martin on Monday announced a deal to move production of the F-16 Block 70 fighter to India, but will continue with plans to move production from its Fort Worth, Texas, plant to Greenville, S.C., until the India deal is finalized. Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force

June 20 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has said it will continue to move its F-16 production line to its Greenville, S.C. facility following the partnership announced with Tata Advanced Systems to produce the F-16.

"Our original plans to move F-16 production to Greenville have not changed," John Losinger, spokesman for the F-16 program at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, told UPI.

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On Monday at the Paris Air Show, Lockheed Martin and Tata Advanced Systems signed an agreement to make India the main hub for future F-16 services, logistics, and plane and parts production.

This would serve F-16 customers worldwide and would provide India the means to customize the F-16 with their own equipment.

In March, Lockheed announced it would move it's F-16 production line to Greenville from Ft. Worth so the Texas facility can focus on F-35 Lightning II production.

The timeline for how this transition would happen is uncertain, meaning Greenville production of the F-16 will be assured for at least the immediate future. The Indian air force is holding a competition between the F-16 Block 70 and the Saab Gripen E for its next single-engine fighter plane.

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"If India picks the F-16, at least the initial production run would take place at Greenville," Losinger said. "We don't have a timeline yet on when or if production would be moved to India from Greenville."

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