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F-16 Fighting Falcon News

F-16 production finally ramping up?

January 10, 2024 (by Bjorn Claes) - With the first flight of the second Bahraini dual seater (#1612) on December 19th, 2023 and also the first flight of the second Slovak dual seater (#1101) on December 15th the final month of 2023 was quite productive on the Greenville production line. These firsts were followed by the first flight of the third Bahraini single seater (#1603) on January 5th, 2024.

RBAF F-16C block 70 #1603 is seen on its first flight on January 5th, 2024. [Photo by Owen Hewitt]

The past two years saw the production of new-built F-16s forthcoming in an extremely slow pace with months (or even over a year) between roll outs of the factory. This was first due to the general COVID crisis in 2021-2021 but was followed with serious supply chain issues at the Greenville plant.

This delayed all the new production for over 18 months up till now with both Bahrain and Slovakia waiting for there new aircraft to emerge. But this also means a serious delay for other countries like Bulgaria, Taiwan, Morocco and Jordan who are all facing serious delays in their deliveries resulting in problems concerning to the aircraft the F-16 is set te replace at these respective air forces.

Hopefully the worst of those slowing issues are resolved by now and that we can look forward to seeing more F-16s rolling off the production line on a monthly bases.

Additional images:

RBAF F-16D block 70 #1612 is seen on one of its first flights. [Photo by Owen Hewitt]

Maiden flight of the first Slovak F-16D Block 70 with "humpback" [Photo by Nelson Tower]