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Industry

PZL Mielec Increases Contribution to F-16 Manufacturing

F-16V
Photo. Lockheed Martin

We are continuously expanding our competencies. The assumption is to have 70-80% of the fuselage structure for the F-16 manufactured at PZL Mielec, said Janusz Zakręcki, PZL Mielec President of the Management Board and General Director, speaking to Defence24.pl.

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Jakub Palowski: Today, F-16 fighter airframe structures manufactured at PZL Mielec have been presented. What meaning does that bear, for the facility?

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Janusz Zakręcki, PZL Mielec President of the Management Board and General Director: Today, an event took place, aimed at demonstrating the first rear part of the F-16 rear fuselage structure. This is the largest of the structural components, manufactured here, at PZL Mielec. At the same time, it is just one of many elements that are or will be manufactured here. We are continuously expanding our competencies. The assumption is to have 70-80% of the fuselage structure for the F-16 manufactured at PZL Mielec. Today we are at ca. 50%.

Janusz Zakręcki, President of the Management Board, PZL Mielec
Photo. PZL Mielec

In what way did the company prepare itself for this undertaking?

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To manufacture the F-16 airframe structures, an in-depth modernization happened with regard to a whole production hall, with an area of 14 thousand square meters. The manufacturing process regarding those structures currently involves around 200 employees, including 70 working directly on the manufacturing. The preparatory steps are very important here - within the scope of logistics, technology, and transport - this is why this project involves a major group of people.

F-16, Lockheed Martin
Rear F-16 fuselage structure at PZL Mielec.
Photo. PZL Mielec

The activities that we engage in are also embedded within the manufacturing diversification strategy at PZL Mielec. That strategy assumes that new manufacturing lines are commissioned, alongside the manufacturing of the Black Hawk helicopters and M28 fixed-wing aircraft, and cooperation pursued at PZL previously. That includes a new set of competencies since manufacturing airframe structures for a jet calls for capabilities different than those useful for other structures.

What are the prospects for this undertaking?

Currently, we have secured an order regarding ca. 50 fuselage structures, and the target 70-80% involvement level in the manufacturing process is expected to be achieved as early as next year. We are continuously expanding our competencies and manufacturing facilities. Let me add that there is a very strong demand for the F-16 jet, so we may assume that airframe structure orders would also be on a dynamic rise.

Thank you for this conversation.

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