The latest version of the F-16 Block 70 aircraft will be built in Greenville and sold to the air force of Bahrain.
Lockheed Martin received a $1.2 billion contract from the U.S. government to produce 16 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft for the Royal Bahraini Air Force, the company announced on June 25.
The award is the first F-16 Block 70 sale and the first F-16 production program to be performed in Greenville, the Lockheed Martin news release said.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is the first customer to procure the F-16 Block 70, the newest and most advanced F-16 production configuration, the news release said. Upgrades include improved radar systems, advanced weapons capabilities and enhanced battlespace awareness, according to Lockeed Martin’s website, which calls the aircraft “the most technologically advanced fourth generation fighter in the world.”
The project will create 150-200 new jobs in Greenville, the release said.
"We value our long-standing relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and look forward to beginning production activities on their first Block 70 aircraft at our facility in Greenville," Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program, said in the release. "This sale highlights the significant, growing demand we see for new production F-16s around the globe."