WARSAW, Poland -- PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin company, is to be a manufacturing partner for the 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 fighter aircraft in the 1960s. Beginning next year, PZL Mielec will manufacture the rear fuselage, center fuselage, cockpit structure, cockpit side panel and forward equipment bay for new production F-16s, 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, Lockheed Martin director for Poland, Central and East Europe.
With orders already secured for the F-16 Block 70/72 from five 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.
Beyond the F-16, Poland is also procuring 32 F-35s, the first of which will be delivered in 2024.