Lockheed Martin Corp. signed an agreement with AIM Norway, an Oslo-based MRO services provider, to jointly establish the world’s first Lockheed Martin-licensed F-16 ‘Falcon Depot’ center for the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF) and other regional F-16 customers. The service center will be located at an existing aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) center in Kjeller, Norway, and in use by the RNoAF.
AIM Norway also will expand its activities at Norway’s Rygge Air Base, which has been selected by the F-35 Joint Program Office as an F135 engine MRO&U center. Lockheed is also the primary contractor for the F-35 program, and Norway is one of the program partners with the U.S. Dept. of Defense on that fighter jet program, as well. The RNoAF maintains nine F-35s and its F-35 fleet is expected to grow to 52 aircraft.
The F-16 Falcon is a single-engine, supersonic fighter jet developed by General Dynamics and now offered by Lockheed Martin. It’s a multirole fighter aircraft, and according to Lockheed there are approximately 3,000 operational F-16s in service today with 25 countries.
Lockheed noted that AIM Norway offers several decades of experience with F-16 sustainment, as well as technical expertise that can benefit F-16 customers worldwide by leveraging AIM’s extensive technical expertise and capabilities.
According to Susan Ouzts, vice president of Lockheed Martin's F-16 Program: “This first-of-its-kind Falcon Depot Center reflects the strong global demand for F-16 sustainment services, which is poised to grow as we continue to produce new F-16s and upgrade existing aircraft.”
Lockheed Martin further noted that the F-16 customer base accounts for new production opportunities totaling more than 400 aircraft.