CPI Aerostructures Inc. has drawn a new multi-year contract from Lockheed Martin to manufacture and supply structural assemblies for a new round of production for the F-16 fighter aircraft. The New York-based manufacturer of structural assemblies for fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles will supply rudder island and drag chute canister assemblies – the large structural sub-assembly installed beneath the vertical tail section of the single-engine supersonic aircraft – with deliveries to run from 2025 through 2028.
The manufacturer did not report the value of the contract. A total of 128 aircraft are foreseen in the planning for Block 70/72, and each aircraft of the upcoming series is expected to carry a delivery cost of $63 million.
Block 70/72 is described by Lockheed as “for the most advanced F-16 ever produced,” and will bring new capabilities like advanced radar, enhanced battlespace awareness, and weapon integration to air forces around the world.
According to Lockheed, the upcoming F-16 series will have extended structural life to 12,000 hours - more than 50 percent beyond that of previous production F-16 aircraft. Accordingly, that will mean a service life of at least 40 years for the aircraft.
“CPI Aero delivered its first RI/DCC assembly for the F-16 Block 70/72 in June 2021,” recalled CPI Aero president and CEO Dorith Hakim. “This second follow-on multi-year contract demonstrates Lockheed Martin’s confidence in CPI to deliver critical aerostructure assemblies in support of the F-16, a fourth-generation fighter aircraft that offers advanced capabilities to air forces around the world.”