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Lockheed Martin gearing up for production of first SC-built F-16

Defense giant Lockheed Martin cut the ribbon Tuesday on a South Carolina manufacturing site that aims to build F-16 fighter jets for U.S. allies around the world, although so far just a handful of orders are in the pipeline.

Politicians and company executives touted the new production line as the future of the venerable Fighting Falcon, now in its 45th year of production. Lockheed Martin moved production of the F-16 to Greenville from Forth Worth, Texas, where the company will expand its program.

The Upstate site will start building its first F-16 — part of a 16-jet order from the Royal Bahraini Air Force — by the end of this year.

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