Aerial Warfare

PZL Mielec Celebrates Completion of First F-16 Block 70/72 Aft Fuselage

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PZL Mielec Celebrates Completion of First F-16 Block 70/72 Aft Fuselage

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PZL Mielec Celebrates Completion of First F-16 Block 70/72 Aft Fuselage
PZL Mielec Celebrates Completion of First F-16 Block 70/72 Aft Fuselage

Today employees at PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company and one of Poland’s longest established aircraft manufacturers, celebrated completion of the first F-16 Block 70/72 aft fuselage to be manufactured in Poland. In a symbolic return to the tradition of manufacturing military jet aircraft, the F-16 structures are being built in a renovated hall where training and combat aircraft were produced more than 20 years ago. 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.

“Our collaboration on the F-16 program in Poland demonstrates our commitment to fostering local industrial capabilities. 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,” said OJ Sanchez, vice president and general manager, Integrated Fighter Group at Lockheed Martin.

“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. 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,” said Janusz Zakr?cki, president and general director, PZL Mielec.

 The first F-16 Block 70/72 aft fuselage manufactured in Mielec
The first F-16 Block 70/72 aft fuselage manufactured in Mielec, Poland. (Photo by PZL Mielec)

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. 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.

PZL Mielec (Polskie Zak?ady Lotnicze – Polish Aviation Works), formerly WSK-Mielec (Wytwórnia Sprz?tu Komunikacyjnego) and WSK “PZL-Mielec” is a Polish aerospace manufacturer based in Mielec. It is the largest aerospace manufacturer in postwar Poland. On 16 March 2007, PZL Mielec was acquired by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, then a unit of United Technologies Corporation (UTX), which retained the brand name. From 2009, it manufactures fuselage sections of the parent firm’s UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter, and from 2010 it serves as an additional final assembly line for S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin Corporation is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 116,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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