Lod (Israel): Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has delivered the first F-16 wing and vertical fin to Lockheed Martin, following the reopening of the F-16 wing assembly line at IAI.
As a result of increased worldwide demand for the F-16 Block 70/72, IAI reopened the assembly lines that had been established in the 1980s to continue production of the F-16 aerostructures assembled at IAI.
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The F-16 wings and vertical fins will be shipped to the F-16 production and final assembly line in Greenville, South Carolina, USA.
Prior to reopening the F-16 assembly lines, IAI invested in modernizing infrastructure, improving the work environment, and introducing new tools to produce fully compliant F-16 aerostructures.
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IAI also successfully re-established the supply chain of hardware suppliers to support the assembly lines, checked and verified tooling, carried out necessary first article inspections, and conducted training programs for the F-16 team.
Boaz Levy, IAI President & CEO, said, “The first delivery of the F-16 wing and vertical fins represents a continuation of IAI’s decades-long cooperation with Lockheed Martin to manufacture aerostructures for customers worldwide. Built on the newly refurbished and technologically advanced assembly line, the F-16 wing and vertical fins represent over 40 years of cooperation between IAI and Lockheed Martin.”
“The reactivated F-16 assembly lines join IAI’s aerostructures centre of excellence for fighter aircraft. With decades of experience, customer satisfaction, and continued technological advancement, these first deliveries are a testament to IAI’s leading role in the aviation industry.”
Joshua (Shiki) Shani, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Israel, said, “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.”
“Five nations have chosen the F-16 Block 70/72 for these reasons and more. We are proud to have local Israeli production of wings for the F-16 at the IAI facilities, which already produces wings for the F-35, and we look forward to growing our partnerships and cooperations with the Israeli industries.”