More job opportunities to come to Greenville as Lockheed Martin recently announced it’s decision to move F-16 production to Greenville site.
Lockheed Martin, a leading company for aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies recently announced its decision to move its production of F-16 fighter jets to Greenville, creating more than 200 jobs in the next two years. Lockheed will begin moving the production line to its Greenville site at the end of the year after delivering the last jets being built for Iraq in September, according to Ken Ross, Lockheed’s spokesman in Fort Worth.
The company hasn’t booked any orders for new F-16s beyond the planes being built for Iraq yet. They said it would take about two years to start it back up once a new order is received. They are expecting new orders from Bahrain and anticipating additional orders from Indonesia and Colombia. If the company wins a proposed India fighter deal, its first jets would likely be built in Greenville as well. Currently, Lockheed already employs 500 people at its facility here in Greenville and expects to hire additional employees through 2019 once work on the F-16 hits full production.
Lockheed Martin is ramping up its production of the F-35 Lightning II in Fort Worth, Texas. The space they use for the F-16 will be consumed by the F-35 that’s why they have to relocate the F-16 production line. The company added that its Greenville plant is where the new T-50A trainer will be built if it wins the $12 billion contract to supply the Air Force with 350 jets. The T-50A is considered an “offshoot” of the F-16 design, so the economics of having the two lines together makes sense, company officials said.
The company has relied on Greenville Tech’s Aircraft Maintenance program and its graduating class in the past so it’s highly likely that the company will train F-16 workers thru Greenville Technical College.