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An F-16 undergoes durability testing in Lockheed Martin’s Full Scale Durability Test facility in Fort Worth, Texas, where the fighter recently completed more than 25,000 hours of simulated flight time. Screenshot from Lockheed Martin video.

Lockheed Martin completed 25,000 simulated flight hours on an F-16C Block 50 aircraft as part of its full scale durability test, which is designed to stress the aircraft to identify potential fatigue issues, according to a June 11 company r​elease. The F-16 fleet was designed to hold up under heavy stress for 8,000 equivalent flight hours, but the FSDT results will be used to “design and verify” a Service Life Extension Program that will extend the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-50 aircraft to 12,000 EFH, until the service’s F-35 strikes fighters come online, according to the release. “This testing milestone clearly demonstrates that F-16s with SLEP modification can be safely operated longer than anyone previously thought possible,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the F-16/F-22 Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.