Lockheed Martin delivered the 4,500th example of the F-16 during a 3 April ceremony at its Fort Worth manufacturing site in Texas, describing the type as “the world standard for evolutionary fighters today”.
The aircraft at the centre of the event was a single-seat Block 52 F-16C built under a 24-unit deal for the Royal Moroccan Air Force, and already carrying the service registration 8016 (Lockheed Martin image below). Lockheed had already handed over four such fighters and all four two-seat D-model trainers contained within the deal, as recorded by Flightglobal’s premium MiliCAS database.
Lockheed’s current order backlog includes the remaining aircraft for Morocco, top-ups for Egypt, Oman and Turkey, and the first to be manufactured for Iraq.
MiliCAS records just over 3,000 of the delivered F-16s as being in active service in the A/B/C/D/E/F and I variants. As Lockheed’s banners at the latest handover event stated, “That’s a lot of birds”.
Anyone want to wager whether the F-35 now dominating the Fort Worth line will ever reach that number over its production life?