CPI Aerostructures picked up a follow-on contract from Lockheed Martin Corp. to manufacture structural assemblies for new F-16 fighter aircraft. Following the previous order for specific F-16 assemblies (the rudder island and drag chute canister, or RI/DCC) the new order raises the total value of CPI's work on the F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft to approximately $8.7 million.
The contractor did not indicate the number or type of structural assemblies to be supplied. Deliveries under the follow-on order will begin in late 2021.
The F-16 "Fighting Falcon" is a single-engine, supersonic jet developed by General Dynamics for the U.S. Air Force that entered service in 1978. Lockheed acquired the program in 1993, and although the F-16 is no longer being purchased by the USAF it continued to be built for various foreign military services.
F-16 Block 70/72 is the latest series in the program, with production launching in November 2019 at Greenville, S.C. according to Lockheed, this generation of the F-16 offers new capabilities based on an advanced F-16V configuration, and over 50-percent longer structural life than the previous F-16 aircraft series projected.
The OEM stated that the new-production aircraft's structural and capability upgrades indicate the international F-16 fleet can operate to 2060 and beyond.
New York-based CPI Aero manufactures structural assemblies for commercial and military fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and airborne Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance pod systems. Globally, it operates variously as a Tier 1 supplier to aircraft OEMs or a Tier 2 subcontractor to some of those manufacturers. It's also is a U.S. Dept. of Defense prime contractor.
CPI Aero president and CEO Douglas McCrosson stated: “The success Lockheed Martin is experiencing in selling the F-16 in the international fighter market provides increasing opportunity for CPI Aero and further strengthens our long-standing relationship with Lockheed Martin that spans multiple platforms, including the F-35 … and numerous Sikorsky helicopters.”