March 15 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin's new sustainment support facility in Greenville, S.C., received its first F-16 fighter plane for maintenance, the company announced on Monday.
The plane arrived from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., last week and will be formally inducted into the program on Monday.
The facility, known as the Continental United States Depot, is part of a $900 million, 10-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity [IDIQ] program, announced in December 2020, for F-16s and is the first U.S.-based industry depot of the Air Force.
The site will specialize in servicing and modernizing the planes throughout their life cycles. The work will include "depot-level maintenance activities, predefined programmatic work, aircraft modification and unplanned drop-in maintenance," a Lockheed Martin statement said.
There are two overseas F-16 contract depots, in Europe and in the Pacific region.
The Greenville facility has 12 maintenance bays. It is expected to provide major repair, overhaul or complete rebuilding of weapon systems, manufacture of parts technical assistance and testing, according to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment.
Lockheed Martin has built over 4,600 F-16s, often referred to as the Fighting Falcon, since 1976.
Although it is no longer purchased by the U.S. Air Force -- F-16s comprise about 45 percent of the U.S. fleet of fighter planes -- versions are being built for 25 foreign customers, including Israel, Pakistan, Turkey and the Netherlands.
"We are excited for this opportunity to expand our partnership with the U.S. Air Force and ensure the continued readiness and capability of the F-16 fleet," Danya Trent, vice president of the F-16 program at Lockheed Martin, said in a press release.
"Our team of F-16 experts in Greenville are ready and prepared to meet our customer's most challenging problems, partnering between production and sustainment operations, giving full life cycle coverage for the F-16," Trent said.