The Gosselies de la Sabca site has been awarded by the US Air Force a new maintenance contract for its 80 F-16s on European soil. A contract worth more than $ 250 million.
The Gosselies de la Sabca site has been awarded by the US Air Force a new maintenance contract for its 80 F-16s on European soil. The contract includes scheduled and unscheduled maintenance of Lockheed Martin aircraft, a program to extend the lifespan of aircraft from 8,000 to 12,000 flight hours and technical assistance for F-16s “on base” throughout Europe. The duration of the contract is five years and is renewable for another five years. The contract represents an estimated turnover of around 250 million dollars and more than 100 direct jobs in Charleroi and on bases throughout Europe for 10 years.
This contract represents an estimated turnover of around 250 million dollars and more than 100 direct jobs in Charleroi and on bases throughout Europe.
The Sabca has been responsible since 2001 for the maintenance of the European F-16 fleet of the United States Air Force (USAF). It has also serviced other US Air Force aircraft in the past, such as the A-10 assault aircraft.
This is in part thanks to the expertise acquired by the maintenance of the F-16 of the Belgian Air Force and the Netherlands that it was able to be awarded this contract. Several of its qualified aeronautical technicians now work directly at the Florennes air base alongside military personnel., in order to compensate for the departures of retired soldiers and to allow others to prepare for the F-35.
“This new contract confirms our expertise in heavy maintenance and modernization of aircraft. It is also a vote of confidence and an important token of appreciation for our technicians, engineers and technicians. Thanks to our joint effort, we remain one of three USAF F-16 maintenance centers in the world “, underlined in a press release Stéphane Burton, CEO of the Blueberry group and of the Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) division which includes Sabca MRO in Charleroi.
The Belgian aerospace group Sabca assembled over 300 F-16 fighters under license in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, the company is part of the Blueberry industrial ecosystem, owned by Sabena Aerospace and the Federal Participation and Investment Company (SFPI).
Blueberry is now in charge of the maintenance of several types of military aircraft such as the C-130, the F-16, the Boeing E3 Awacs and the A400M. With a turnover of some 250 million euros, the group is active in Belgium on 4 sites (Zaventem, Haren, Gosselies and Lummen), but also in more than 10 countries. The company employs a total of more than 1,200 people.