F-16 wing production line from 1980s reopened amid new demand

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.

The assembled wings will then be shipped to Lockheed Martin's final assembly line
The assembled wings will then be shipped to Lockheed Martin's final assembly line

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.”

A Block 70 F-16, which will be produced in South Carolina
A Block 70 F-16, which will be produced in South Carolina

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.


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