WATCH: First flight of F-16 aircraft built by Lockheed Martin in Greenville

Video from Carson Strong
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Lockheed Martin announced the F-16 Block 70 aircraft, which was built in Greenville, had a successful first flight on Tuesday.

The global security and aerospace company said the flight happened at 9:17 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24, with test pilots Dwayne “Pro” Opella and Monessa “Siren” Balzhiser. The total flight time was about 50 minutes and included airworthiness checks, such as engine, flight control and fuel system checks, as well as basic aircraft handling.

“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,” said Danya Trent, F-16 Vice President and Site Lead in Greenville in a release. “This is the culmination of significant development, design, digital engineering, supply chain and production line advances to an already proven platform that will continue to deliver decades of service in support of customers’ national security.”

The F-16 is a strategic and valuable aircraft with fighter capabilities and affordable lifecycle costs. The newest version, the Block 70/72, offers unparalleled capabilities and will be flown by at least five countries beginning in the mid-2020s.