delivered the last of 2,231 F-16 aircraft produced for the United States Air
Force (USAF) at Fort Worth Aero plant in Texas on March 18, 2005. The F-16
program deliveries to the USAF began in 1978 and since then the aircraft became
the backbone of the United States air power first fighting the Soviet threat and
now supporting the global war on terrorism.
Originally, it was designed as a lightweight, daylight interceptor but for two
decades the aircraft performance was expanded becoming a truly multi-role,
day/night, all-weather fighter capable of beating sophisticated enemy air
defense aircraft while delivering precision-guided munitions. It is expected
that the Lockheed-Martin Aero plant in Fort Worth will continue to produce F-16s
for international customers such as United Arab Emirates, Poland and Pakistan.
Despite the USAF will not receive more new-built F-16s, heavy resources will be
diverted by the F-16 Systems Group to the existing 1,300 F-16s fleet to allow
them to keep up the pace with combat aviation through 2025 when F-35s are
expected to assume completely the role of the F-16 aircraft.
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