Lockheed Martin 'Excited' for F-16 Collaboration with Turkey

Lockheed Martin ‘Excited’ for F-16 Collaboration with Turkey

The U.S. defense and aerospace company Lockheed Martin is thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate again with Turkish partners on the advanced F-16 Block 70 fighter jets. This comes after Congress recently approved the sale of new F-16s and modernization kits to Turkey.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity that has recently opened with our two nations agreeing and congressionally notifying Turkey,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager of Lockheed’s integrated fighter group. “With Turkey, we’re now in the final stages of the foreign military sales process. We’re looking forward to hopefully concluding that very soon.”

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Massive F-16 Deal Approved

In January 2023, the U.S. State Department greenlighted a potential $23 billion deal to sell F-16 aircraft and upgrades to Turkey, a key NATO ally for over 70 years. Turkey requested 40 new F-16 Block 70 jets and 79 modernization kits to upgrade its existing F-16 fleet to the cutting-edge Block 70 configuration.

The F-16 Block 70 is the most advanced 4th generation fighter jet ever produced. While Turkey currently flies earlier Block 30, 40 and 50 F-16 models, the Block 70 incorporates next-generation technologies like an advanced active electronically scanned array radar also used on the 5th generation F-35.

F-16 Production Consolidated in South Carolina

Lockheed is celebrating production of its 4,600th F-16 in Greenville, South Carolina, where final assembly is now consolidated. While the U.S. Air Force is no longer buying new F-16s, the affordable and versatile multi-role jets remain in high demand worldwide with over 3,100 operational.

“The F-16 has endured due to its tremendous versatility as a proven, adaptable platform delivering security for partners and allies against modern threats,” said Sanchez. “Buying an F-16 means joining a powerful network effect with over 700 F-16s across Europe alone able to rapidly integrate for missions like NATO air policing.”

The Block 70 will affordably complement and augment 5th gen fighters like the F-35 in many air forces for decades to come. With its unmatched capability, affordability and global support network, the iconic F-16 remains the workhorse fighter jet of choice worldwide.

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