The Air Force will extend the service life of its F-16 fighter jet to 12,000 equivalent flight hours, much more than the aircraft's original service life of 8,000 hours.

Validation of the extended flight-hour limit will help extend the service life of up to 300 F-16C/D Block 40-52 aircraft, according to the F-16 maker Lockheed Martin, which made the announcement in a statement on Wednesday.

Following the extension, the Air Force could safely operate Block 40-52 aircraft to 2048 and beyond.

The F-16 service extension comes as the U.S. looks to save costs on its key weapons program, including the F-35 fighter jet.

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