Lockheed Martin secures $1.2B contract to sell new F-16 fighter jets

Lockheed Martin received a $1.2 billion contract from the U.S. government, the company announced on Monday, which will lead to the direct creation of hundreds of U.S.-based jobs.

The contract is for 16 new F-16 Block 70 aircraft, which will be delivered to the Kingdom of Bahrain for use in its air force. The Arab country in the Persian Gulf will be the first to acquire the F-16 Block 70 fighter jet, the newest and most advanced model in the F-16 family.

The jets will be produced at Lockheed Martin’s Greenville, South Carolina, plant, and will lead to the direct creation of 150 to 200 jobs, according to the company. F-16 production also supports engineering, procurement, customer support and “thousands of U.S. supplier jobs.”

"This sale highlights the significant, growing demand we see for new production F-16s around the globe," Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 program, said in a statement.

According to the company, more than 4,600 F-16s have been sold to 28 customers around the world, while 3,000 operational F-16s are being used by air forces across the world, including by the U.S. Air Force.

In the first quarter of 2018, Lockheed Martin reported net sales of $278 million in its aeronautics segment, which were up 7% year over year thanks to increased volume in its F-35, F-16 and F-22 programs.