GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A delivery celebration ceremony was held in Greenville for the first F-16 Block 70 for Bahrain.

The first of its kind aircraft was unveiled Friday while the Bahraini Delegation, U.S. Government, Military, and Aerospace industry officials were in attendance. The F-16 Block 70 jet is the first of 16 jets sold to Bahrain, a major non-NATO ally of the U.S.

“This is a highly complex build,” Vice President of the F-16 programs and Greenville Site Lead Danya Trent said. “While we have the most advanced technology and capability inside that we have integrated it is still from a structural standpoint a very complex build. We call it artisan handcrafted aircraft.”

The new, advanced, and unmatched capabilities of the fighter jet manufactured in Greenville at Lockheed Martin, brings a new level of capability to air forces around the world. 

“It’s my first love of aircraft,” said Dwayne Opella, a pilot. “I have always enjoyed the F-16. Seeing the improvements made to the F-16 over the years is what has made it so special for me because this culminates all those improvements into this newest version of the F-16.”

The F-16 Block 70 took its first flight on January 24. There will be additional flight tests at Edwards Air Force base before arriving in Bahrain in 2024.