The move means that military jets are produced on Polish soil again, following a hiatus of more than two decades, Poland’s komputerswiat.pl website reported on Monday.
The previous military jets made in Poland were the PZL I-22 Iryda trainer aircraft, produced by PZL Mielec towards the end of the previous century, according to komputerswiat.pl.
The company has since focused on producing the S-70i Black Hawk multi-role helicopters, news outlets reported.
Now, however, it has resumed making fighter jets, specifically component structures for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 combat aircraft, officials said.
Last week, PZL Mielec said it had “completed the first two component structures for the latest version F-16, the Block 70/72.”
Janusz Zakręcki, the President and General Director of PZL Mielec, told reporters: “The timely completion of the first F-16 structures is a very important moment for PZL Mielec and its employees. This means PZL Mielec's return to military jet manufacturing and the beginning of PZL's participation in the production of the F16.”
The company had been preparing for this task for 1,5 years, with staff undergoing training in the US, and production facilities being modernised, according to officials.
This investment is likely to pay off, however, as there won’t be any shortage of orders for the component structures for the F-16, komputerswiat.pl wrote.
The F-16 remains one of the world’s most popular military aircraft, used by many countries, including Poland, komputerswiat.pl reported.
The news of PZL Mielec’s involvement in the production of the F-16 fighter jets came as Russia’s war on Ukraine continued for the 404th day.
Source: komputerswiat.pl, defence24.pl, pzlmielec.pl