"Our fighters are depended upon worldwide for their legendary capability and effectiveness," Bean said. "Twenty-four nations have recognized the F-16 as their fighter of choice, and accomplishing 100 fighter deliveries in just two years proves that the Fighting Falcon is the most popular multirole fighter of our era."
F-16s are involved in major defense operations worldwide, including constant patrols over the continental United States, guarding the eastern borders of NATO and defending ground troops in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
The international community is drawn to the F-16 because of its evolutionary capabilities, boosted by a symbiotic relationship with such advanced fighter programs as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F/A-22.
"The Fighting Falcon enjoys popular use and demand in 2004 because of its progressive capabilities," Bean said. "We are delivering future technologies to our customers today. As we redefine today's fighter, we are helping define the fighters of tomorrow."
In addition to delivering the final Advanced Block 52+ to Greece and the first of Israel's latest F-16 purchase, Chile's new Advanced Block 50 started component assembly on the Fort Worth, Texas, production line. Soon, orders for Oman and Poland will be produced, with deliveries for Oman beginning as early as next year.
"We welcome our new customers into a global system of strength," Bean said. "Governments look to Lockheed Martin to provide an enduring, upgradeable defense solution. And the F-16 provides it each and every time."
Lockheed Martin is also committed to the redefinition and reapplication of older F-16s that have been in popular use since the 1970s. Programs such as the Mid Life Update and the Common Configuration Implementation Program bring sophisticated technology and other advancements to keep those fighters congruent with modern production fighters.
"We take care of our own and work to make sure every F-16 is up to the challenge of today's battles," Bean said. "The F-16 program has a future because it's shaping it."
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., a business area of Lockheed Martin, is a leader in the design, research and development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-16, F/A-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3 and U-2. The company produces major components for the F-2 fighter, and is a co-developer of the C-27J tactical transport and T-50 advanced jet trainer.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs approximately 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2003 sales of $31.8 billion.
For additional information, visit our website: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ http://www.lmaeronautics.com/
SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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