August 25, 2005 (by Adi Vaknin) - The 100th F-16 wing box, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) was delivered on August 17, 2005 to Lockheed Martin. IAI's Lahav Division manufactures F-16 wing boxes worth over $100 million.
The first contract between Lockheed and IAI for wing boxes was signed in 1999 and included 120 pairs of wings for the F-16 fighter aircraft. The contract was worth $52 million.
In 2005, Lockheed Martin decided to subcontract the work of applying 78 pairs of leading edges to F-16's wings, a contract worth additional $5 million. In this, IAI's Lahav Division has become the single source for manufacturing wing boxes to Lockheeds F-16s. Deliveries of these contracts will continue through 2008, with an option for the manufacturing of additional 144 pairs of wing boxes until the year 2012.
Lahav's production line can handle 15 pairs of wing boxes simultaneously and can complete five pairs each month. All manufacturing and assembly processes are done with advanced tools and technologies, under strict professional demands from the customer.
Mr. David Tucker, Lockheed Martins Director of F-16 Industrial Cooperation, said at the ceremony: "I want to congratulate IAI on this challenge and achievement. The dedicated team of Lahav employees has succeeded in finishing the first wing box 5 days ahead of schedule.
IAI has made Lockheed Martin very proud, and quality of the wing boxes has been phenomenal. Keep doing what you are doing", said Tucker.
The majority of F-16s flying in the service of the Israel
Air Force are equipped with wing boxes made by IAI. The Lahav Division is also a sole source for the aircraft's Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFT) and vertical fins.