The Big 4,500

Lockheed Martin officials commemorated the delivery of the 4,500th F-16 fighter—a Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16 Block 52—during a ceremony for employees, customers, and local dignitaries at its aircraft assembly plant in Fort Worth, Tex. “The F-16 is the world standard for evolutionary fighters today, and it will continue to secure the freedom of the United States and its allies in peace and combat for decades to come,” said Larry Lawson, executive vice president of the company’s Aeronautics business area, in a release on Tuesday’s commemoration ceremony. Since the F-16’s first production orders in 1975, a total of 26 nations have purchased the fighter, according to Lockheed Martin. The company said its current F-16 production backlog includes aircraft for Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, and Turkey.