Author Topic: The F-16 production line  (Read 1333 times)

adroth

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The F-16 production line
« on: October 29, 2016, 01:58:54 PM »
Lockheed’s long-running F-16 line in Fort Worth going cold
18 MARCH, 2016 BY: JAMES DREW WASHINGTON DC

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/lockheeds-long-running-f-16-line-in-fort-worth-goin-423293/

On the 45th anniversary of the F-16 lightweight fighter’s first flight, Lockheed Martin faces the very real prospect of turning off "Fighting Falcon" production as prospective customers like Pakistan struggle to clear the US government’s regulatory and funding processes.

After assembling more than 4,500 F-16s in almost 140 different configurations, the Fort Worth, Texas production line is thawing from hot to lukewarm and could go cold by “about the end of 2017” after Lockheed delivers the remaining seven of 36 Iraqi F-16IQs.

Lockheed’s F-16 programme chief Susan Ouzts said this week that several countries have expressed a strong preference for the F-16 to the US government but the nearest opportunity is an almost $700 million deal with Pakistan for eight Block 52 jets powered by Pratt &Whitney F100-229s.

It recently cleared a 30-day notification period in Congress after being approved by the US State Department in February, but concerns about the "foreign military financing" of the arms package means Pakistan may need to come up with the money on its own.

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adroth

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Re: The F-16 production line
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 02:07:56 PM »
America’s Last Fighter Jet Makers Scramble to Keep Production Alive
A pair of Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons sit on the flight line at Balad Air Base in Iraq at sunset in 2007.

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
READ BIO
MAY 12, 2016

http://www.defenseone.com/business/2016/05/americas-last-fighter-jet-makers-scramble-keep-production-alive/128274/

FORT WORTH, Texas — In the southwest corner of a mile-long assembly plant here, an F-16 fighter jet is slowly coming to life. That plane, being built for the Iraqi Air Force, is far more sophisticated than the first Falcon to come off this production line more than 40 years ago, but it soon could become one of the last.

To the northeast by 575 miles, a similar scene is playing out inside another manufacturing facility. Here it’s the F-15 Eagle and F/A-18 Super Hornet, two more 1970s relics that have been redesigned and modernized heavily over the decades.

Without more orders by the U.S. military or its allies, production of these three planes, which gave America supremacy of the skies for more than four decades, will halt by 2020.

Lockheed and Boeing, the firms that build these warplanes, are actively seeking customers for these jets, but they’re in far different predicaments. Lockheed is about to quadruple production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a plane that it plans to sell to the U.S. and its allies for 30 years or longer. More than 3,000 orders are expected for the plane globally, nearly 2,500 for the U.S Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps.

For Boeing, the stakes are higher. The end of the F-15 and F/A-18 means it would no longer build high-performance fighter jets, leaving Lockheed as the only such American manufacturer. Both companies will continue to support and upgrade the thousands of F-15s, F-16s, and F/A-18s flying in the U.S. and abroad.

As it searches for more customers, Boeing has slowed Super Hornet production to just two aircraft per month in hopes additional orders will extend production into the 2020s. Congress already has purchased more F/A-18s and EA-18G Growlers, electronic attack versions of the Super Hornet, for the U.S Navy in recent years. Without more, Super Hornet and Growler production would end in 2018, Dan Gillian, the Boeing vice president who oversees both aircraft, said on Wednesday .

The U.S. Navy says it needs about 30 new Super Hornets, but it has only funded two in the Pentagon’s 2017 war budget. It has listed 14 planes as “unfunded priorities” and money would be needed for an additional 14 planes in 2018.

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Ayoshi

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Re: The F-16 production line
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2017, 02:05:08 AM »
Could 'America First' policy upend Lockheed’s F-16 plans in India? | defense news - March 23, 2017
Quote
The F-16 was one of the airplanes considered and then discarded by the government, which in 2011 selected the Dassault Rafale. However, a deal was never consummated, and in July of 2016 the Indian government cancelled the MMRCA program outright and began a series of a government-to-government discussions. That gave new life to the American competitors, at a time when the Obama administration was prioritizing strengthened ties to India. 

In October, India officially re-launched the campaign, with consensus that the two leading candidates are the F-16 and the Saab Gripen. This time around, Lockheed believes it has a strong hand not play, in part because India has purchased Lockheed’s C-130J and in part because the company has ties with the Tata Group, India’s manufacturing giant.

But Lockheed also looked to up its chances by pledging to open a production line in India for the F-16s. It’s a step up from the usual tech-transfer offer from companies, but it also means creating jobs abroad rather than home – at a time when the rhetoric from the Trump administration is very focused on domestic growth.

Ayoshi

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Re: The F-16 production line
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 10:54:05 PM »
Lockheed Martin Closer To Relocating F-16 Production To India | Forbes
Quote
If India's Air Force agrees to buy 100 F-16 Block 70 combat fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, then the company will transfer production out of Fort Worth, Texas and hand the contract over to its Indian partner, Tata Advanced Systems. Tata already builds wing assembles of the C-130 Hercules, a contract that was taken out of Ohio years ago. Exclusive deals of the contract were first broken late Monday by The Economic Times of India, the country's largest business daily.

Lockheed confirmed the agreement but did not say that it was tied to the Air Force decision. The deal has been a long time in the making and should not surprise Texas employees of Lockheed Martin.

The company is interested in the estimated $15 billion export potential the contract brings down the road. But in order to cinch the deal, the company has to agree to build the aircraft in India under current government policy.

For now, the Indian Air Force is deciding whether it will be an American fighter or Sweden's Gripen, made by Saab.

adroth

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Re: The F-16 production line
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2018, 08:53:14 AM »
The New Iraqi Air Force: F-16IQ Block 52 Fighters
Feb 21, 2018 04:54 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Latest update [?]

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/iraq-seeks-f-16-fighters-05057/

February 21/18: Planned Deliveries The Iraqi Air Force will receive external link 13 additional F-16 aircraft in 2019, bringing to 34 the number of fighters operated by the service. Quoted by the Arabic-language satellite TV channel Al-Hurra, Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, deputy air commander of CJTF-OIR’s land component said that the new aircraft will increase Baghdad’s capabilities in eliminating terrorist organizations and will be strengthened by International training, scheduled to take place at Balad Air Base. In January, Sallyport Global was awarded external link a $400 million foreign military sale (FMS) contract to support Iraq’s F-16 mission at Balad, with work to include comprehensive life and logistics support, security, construction, and base operation support services up until January 2019.

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adroth

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Re: The F-16 production line
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2018, 01:48:42 PM »
Lockheed to Move F-16 Production to South Carolina
The delivery ceremony of the first production F-16 in August 1978.

BY MARCUS WEISGERBER
GLOBAL BUSINESS EDITOR
MARCH 22, 2017

https://www.defenseone.com/business/2017/03/lockheed-move-f-16-production-line-south-carolina/136365/

The new, smaller line will better suit the dwindling orders for the venerable fighter jet, while freeing up space for F-35 production.

After building F-16 fighter jets for more than four decades in Texas, Lockheed Martin plans to move the production line to South Carolina, where it will build new versions of the venerable combat aircraft for U.S. allies.

Lockheed will deliver the last F-16 from its Fort Worth factory in September, then take a two-year break in production to move the line to Greenville, S.C., the head of the firm’s aeronautics sector said Tuesday. Dwindling orders make the break possible.

Back in Texas, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter assembly line will expand into the vacated space.

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Economic factors led Lockheed executives to choose Greenville, a city where the firm already has facilities. Union workers currently build F-16s in Fort Worth, but South Carolina is a right-to-work state.

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The F-16 production line in South Carolina will be small, but is still expected to create between 200 and 250 new jobs in Greenville.

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In its heyday, Lockheed’s Fort Worth plant was churning out one F-16 a day. Now only a few prospects remain. Bahrain is reported to want as many as 19 jets and additional orders are anticipated from Indonesia and Colombia. Those planes would all be built in Greenville. There’s also a potential order for India, which could lead to an additional F-16 factory overseas.

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Shifting F-16 production to Greenville would not eliminate any jobs in Fort Worth as workers are being offered new F-35 manufacturing positions, Carvalho said. In addition to the workers that transition, Lockheed also expects to hire about 1,000 new F-35 workers in Fort Worth.