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Lockheed Martin looks to Poland for major F-16 assemblies
Thursday, 2 December 2021
PZL Mielec last manufactured jet powered aircraft more than 20 years ago. Now it will build the rear fuselage, centre fuselage, cockpit structure, cockpit side panel and forward equipment bay for all F-16s.

From next year, PZL Mielec is to build components and assemblies for the latest generation F-16 Block 70/72, sustaining around 200 jobs, with approximately 60 new jobs being created.

This development marks a significant new milestone for PZL Mielec, which was last involved in the production of jet powered aircraft more than 20 years ago when the final I-22 Iryda trainer left the production line. Beginning next year, PZL Mielec will manufacture the rear fuselage, centre fuselage, cockpit structure, cockpit side panel and forward equipment bay for all F-16s manufactured, exporting the aerostructures to Lockheed Martin's final assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina.

"Today's announcement underlines our commitment to PZL Mielec and to growing Lockheed Martin's industrial footprint in Poland, where we currently employ around 1,600 people directly and sustain work for more than 5,000 others in the Polish supply chain," says Robert Orzylowski, direct Poland, Central and East Europe. "During our 20+ year strategic partnership with Poland we've delivered technology transfer, research and development opportunities, long-term sustainable high technology jobs, growth and exports," he adds. "Poland's acquisition of F-35 opened the door for a further expansion of this relationship and helped enable today's exciting announcement."

With orders already secured for the F-16 Block 70/72 from Bahrain, Bulgaria, Slovakia and two other international customers, global interest remains high for new-build production aircraft and for F-16V upgrades. Poland has operated F-16s in its own fleet for the past 15 years and this summer marked a 100,000 flight-hour milestone.

"The F-16 is a key part of the Polish Air Force," says Danya Trent, vice president, F-16 programme. "This new production work at PZL Mielec will further cement Poland as a key part of the F-16 global enterprise for many years into the future."

Beyond the F-16, Poland is also procuring 32 F-35s the first of which will be delivered in 2024. The complementary capabilities and interoperability between both fighter aircraft types serves to strengthen Poland's airpower capabilities and enables partnerships across missions, training, equipment and tactics with other NATO members.

Contact details from our directory:
PZL-Mielec, a Sikorsky Company Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze Sp. z.o.o. Airframer
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airframer
Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon
Related directory sectors:
Airframe Assemblies