Lockheed’s Advanced F-16 Block 70 Fighter Jet Completes Maiden Flight

Lockheed Martin has announced the successful first flight of the advanced F-16 Block 70 fighter aircraft at its Greenville, South Carolina site.

The flight was carried out on January 24, with company test pilots Dwayne Opella and Monessa Balzhiser leading the initiative.

According to Lockheed, the aircraft flew for about 50 minutes and underwent airworthiness checks, which covered the engine, flight control, and fuel system.

The flight also allowed the company to test the basic handling of the aircraft.

“Today’s successful flight is a testament of the hard work, dedication, and commitment to our customers and their missions,” Lockheed official OJ Sanchez said in a press release.

“This milestone demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s commitment to advancing this program and getting this much-needed aircraft and its advanced 21st Century Security capabilities to the warfighter.”

Advanced Features

The Block 70 is the latest and most advanced configuration of the F-16 fighter aircraft.

It incorporates new capabilities and structural upgrades, including a high-resolution center pedestal display for critical tactical imagery and Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-83 radar for improved situational awareness.

The aircraft also features updated mission computers and an advanced electronic warfare suite.

The latest technological and software enhancements will allow the F-16 Block 70 fighter to operate until at least 2060.

Lockheed Martin reportedly has 128 jets on order, 16 from Bahrain, including the one used in the test flight.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force has also announced the purchase of 12 Block 70 F-16s under a $4.21-billion agreement.

“Lockheed Martin is fully committed to delivering quality platforms for our customers’ critical missions, and I am so proud of our talented team in Greenville,” Lockheed vice president Danya Trent said.

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