GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — The F-16 fighter jet fighter factory in Greenville is expanding to meet new orders for the aircraft, adding 300 new jobs to increase production.
The company is hosting a hiring event Tuesday at McAlister Square, 225 S. Pleasantburg Drive from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Greenville. The manufacturer is primarily looking for sheet-metal mechanics, structural mechanics, airframe and power plant mechanics and avionics technicians.
“Many of these positions are on the leading edge of our digital engineering efforts on our F-16 production line. This is an incredibly rewarding opportunity to join the team that sustains and produces the F-16 for armed forces around the world,” said Danya Trent, vice president of the F-16 program for Lockheed-Martin.
There are about 700 jobs currently at the Greenville location, which is expected to double as the plant prepares to produce jets at full capacity. Currently, the United States has approved the sale of 128 F-16 fighter aircraft to allied countries that have yet to be built at the plant.
The first F-16 is scheduled to come off the assembly line in Greenville next month, and begin air trials early next year, according to Lockheed-Martin.
Production of the F-16 moved from Texas to South Carolina in 2019. Today, the Greenville plant is the only assembly line in the world still building the F-16 fighter jet, in addition to providing lifecycle support for the aircraft, including retrofitting the newest and most advanced avionics, according to a statement from Lockheed-Martin.
The company says the Greenville plant is building the latest version of the aircraft, Block 70/72, which adds advanced capabilities, including modern radar, safety features, engine improvements, and the life-saving Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).
Lockheed Martin began operating the Greenville site in 1984, starting with 12 employees. Now, the facility covers 16 hangars and 275 acres with about 700 employees. The site also services C-130s and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.