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PZL Mielec turns out first Polish-built F-16 rear fuselage

The first Polish-built rear-fuselage section for the F-16 was rolled out at PZL Mielec's facility on 29 August. (Lockheed Martin)

PZL Mielec has rolled out the first Polish-built rear-fuselage section for the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon programme at its facility in southern Poland.

Lockheed Martin, which owns PZL Mielec via its Sikorsky subsidiary company, announced the milestone on 29 August.

The milestone came weeks after Janusz Zakrecki, president and general director of PZL Mielec, told Janes and other defence media in early June that his company had recently taken on work to build the centre-fuselage, aft-fuselage, and forward-fuselage sections of the F-16 Block 70/72 (known as the F-16V in its remanufactured form) from Lockheed Martin in the US and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in South Korea.

Construction of dedicated F-16 facilities at the Mielec site was completed in 2022, at the same time that some of the company's 1,500 personnel assigned to F-16 production were being trained by PZL Mielec's parent company and OEM, Lockheed Martin, at the F-16 final assembly line (FAL) in Greenville, South Carolina.

PZL Mielec said in March that it had delivered the first two structures to the FAL in the US, and Zakrecki noted that the Polish company aims to ship four sets per month by the time peak production is achieved “within four years”.

While PZL Mielec is now engaged in subassembly production, Zakrecki noted that the company may look to expand into final assembly in the future.

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