An assembly line originally established in the 1980s for F-16 wings for Lockheed Martin has resumed production at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The line was recently reopened following increased worldwide demand for the F-16 Block 70/72. The company will produce F-16 wings that will be shipped to final assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina.
Boaz Levy, IAI's president and CEO, commented: “The many years of cooperation between IAI and Lockheed Martin demonstrate another important milestone. Resuming the production of F-16 wings is a continuation of a decades-long cooperation of manufacturing aerostructures for Lockheed Martin customers.
“The F-16 assembly line once again joins IAI's assembly centre of excellence for the production of fighter aircraft wings,” he added.
The centre also produces wings for the F-35 and T-38 programmes.
Joshua (Shiki) Shani, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Israel, added: “The reopening of the F-16 wings production line in the IAI facilities is an additional important milestone in Lockheed Martin’s long-standing industrial cooperation with the Israeli industries.
“Now, IAI is producing outer wing boxes for the advanced F-35 and wings for the F-16 fighters, both having new customers in growing numbers, worldwide. So far, Lockheed Martin has initiated and maintained significant long-term economic relationships with the State of Israel and its local industries.
“The company has invested billions of dollars with Israeli defense and aerospace industries because of the high-quality, cutting-edge technology that Israeli industry offers. We are continuously looking to expand our cooperation throughout all our programmes.”
Five nations so far have chosen the fourth generation fighter, the F-16 Block 70/72.
IAI’s Aviation Group is a leader in developing and producing advanced composite materials technologies, avionic structures, and assemblies. It offers a dedicated line for making F-35 outer wing boxes and their skins. With these capabilities, the Aviation Group serves the world’s largest aerospace companies, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, major airlines such as Alitalia and WizzAir.