The completed F-16 aft fuselage, similar to smaller F-16 components also manufactured in Mielec, is destined for export to Lockheed Martin’s production line in Greenville, South Carolina, where F-16 Block 70/72 fighter aircraft are currently being manufactured for customers around the world.
“The production of F-16 Block 70/72 structures at PZL is located in a comprehensively modernized hall. That’s 14,000 square meters of space. In the past, military jet aircraft were produced here,” said Janusz Zakręcki, president and general director, PZL Mielec. “I am glad that Lockheed Martin appreciated the competence of our employees and the potential of this place and decided to locate the F-16 structures production here. It is also evidence of Lockheed Martin’s commitment to the development of PZL Mielec and industrial cooperation in Poland.”
In 2022, close to 50 PZL Mielec production employees and leaders traveled to the F-16 production facility in Greenville. For six months these employees worked side-by-side with Lockheed Martin employees to gain experience and learn about the F-16 production process, preparing to carry out their tasks in Mielec.
“Our collaboration on the F-16 program in Poland demonstrates our commitment to fostering local industrial capabilities,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager, Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin. “Today’s milestone completion of the first aft fuselage F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft structure is the culmination of work that began in 2021, and we’re honored to continue this partnership.”
The F-16 is a strategic and valuable choice for many customers around the world seeking advanced, 4th generation fighter aircraft capabilities, regional and worldwide partnerships and affordable lifecycle costs. It is a critical piece of 21st Century Security, serving a critical role in missions around the world, and is a key enabler of air dominance for Poland, NATO and their allies.