Lockheed Martin is accelerating F-16 fighter jet production, aiming to reach a production cadence of 48 aircraft per year by the end of 2025. This move comes as the Biden administration acknowledges a $19 billion backlog in foreign military sales to Taiwan, with the F-16s being a significant portion. The delay in delivering the jets to Taiwan has garnered attention from U.S. defense officials and lawmakers. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin is also upgrading Taiwan’s existing F-16 fleet and expanding F-16 training infrastructure in Europe.
- Lockheed Martin aims to increase F-16 production to four jets per month by the end of 2025, delivering six to eight new F-16s this year.
- The U.S. is facing a backlog in foreign military sales to Taiwan, especially concerning F-16s. Deliveries to Taiwan, originally expected to start this year, are now anticipated to commence in 2024.
- Lockheed is concurrently upgrading Taiwan’s existing fleet of 139 F-16s with enhanced capabilities, with completion expected within the next year.
- Lockheed has plans to open an F-16 Training Center in Romania and potentially train Ukrainian pilots there, supplementing the Pentagon’s announcement to train Ukrainian F-16 pilots in the U.S. starting October.