Lockheed Martin facility in Greenville, South Carolina, US, has inducted the first F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet for depot sustainment work.

The aircraft was delivered by the US Air Force (USAF) from Edwards Air Force Base in California, US.

Lockheed Martin Greenville site director Mike Fox said: “The arrival of this first jet marks the beginning of fighter Sustainment work at the site and positions Greenville as an F-16 centre of excellence, supporting both F-16 production and sustainment operations.”

In December, the USAF awarded a $900m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to the company for F-16 sustainment support and depot overflow services.

Lockheed Martin is the F-16’s original equipment manufacturer. This contract will allow the company to deliver customised sustainment solutions to the fleet.

According to the company, the Greenville depot is the first in the US to support government-owned depot facilities.

Under the ten-year IDIQ contract, the US-based F-16 industry depot will provide depot-level maintenance activities, predefined programmatic work, aircraft modification and unplanned drop-in maintenance.

Lockheed Martin F-16 Program vice-president Danya Trent said: “We are excited for this opportunity to expand our partnership with the US Air Force and ensure the continued readiness and capability of the F-16 fleet.

“Our team of F-16 experts in Greenville are ready and prepared to meet our customer’s most challenging problems, partnering between Production and Sustainment operations, giving full life cycle coverage for the F-16.”

The F-16s are currently operated by 25 countries and a total of 4,588 units have been manufactured so far.