On a visit to Lockheed Martin’s facility in Greenville on April 10, 2017, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham recommended that the defense contractor receive the contract to build the next training fighter jet for the U.S. Air Force. Lockheed is one of four companies that have bid for the contract which would replace the current training fighter jet that has been in use since the 1950’s with a more advanced jet capable of training pilots to fly fifth generation planes.
Last year, Lockheed and Korea Aerospace Industries developed the T-50A fighter jet which trains pilots to fly F-16, F-22, and F-35 planes. Lockheed has two of these jets that are currently in use and there are similar jets in South Korea that have trained more than 2,000 pilots.
If Lockheed is awarded the contract, the Greenville facility would be responsible for assembling the cockpit, interior, and software, while the fuselage, wings, and tail would be assembled in South Korea. All of the test runs would be conducted out of the Greenville facility.
Officials expect that Lockheed would earn $8 billion to $10 billion in business and gain approximately 200 new jobs at the upstate facility over the next 16 years. This job growth would add to the already 250 new jobs that will be created now that the F-16 production will be moved to Greenville from the facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
The contract will be awarded by the end of 2017 or early 2018.
This post contains excerpts from an article published by The Greenville News. Read the full article here>>