December 4, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

American F-16s still come to Charleroi for maintenance |  the interior

American F-16s still come to Charleroi for maintenance | the interior

The US Air Force will continue to send F-16 fighter jets to Charleroi for major maintenance in the coming years. It is a contract of approximately 350 million euros over ten years.

Sabca in Charleroi has been responsible for maintaining the European fleet of F-16 aircraft of the United States Air Force (USAF) since 2001. In March 2021, the company announced that the contract had been renewed. But a competitor appealed the ruling and the contract was subsequently awarded. That also resumed Sabca.

In the end, a solution has been found, Stefan Burton, CEO of Orizio — the new name for holding company Blueberry — said during a press conference. Both Sabca and the competitor – an alliance with an American partner, which keeps the aircraft in Poland – were awarded as part of the contract.

Not to Sabca’s dismay, Burton said, by the way, as the new contract is more comprehensive than the first. He talked about 350 million euros over ten years, where in the beginning there was 250 million euros. For example, F-16s will also be brought from the United States to Charleroi to be repaired. This involves extensive maintenance, lasting several weeks, to prepare the fighter jets for their “final life cycle,” Burton said.

Sabina Engineering

The activities in Charleroi will no longer be known as Sabca MRO (which stands for Maintenance, Repair and Repair). They will be positioned with Sabena Engineering, the new name for Sabena Aerospace. All maintenance activities are in this branch of Orizio. This also includes the maintenance activities of the German company Lufthansa Technik, whose acquisition was recently completed: the Belgian subsidiary Lufthansa Technik Brussels and LTMI, and the line maintenance activities of customers outside Germany of Lufthansa Technik.

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As one of the reasons the name is changing, Burton said.

Orisio’s second stop

Sabca is Orizio’s second station and covers the design and production of aerospace components. Sabca has branches in Belgium in Brussels and Lumen.

The entire Orizio Group (the name denotes “horizon”) has more than 1,500 employees, a turnover of about 250 million euros and is active in fifteen countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Among other things, the group is expanding its activities towards specialized drones – for example, it is conducting a trial with DEME to check wind turbines at sea – and aircraft recycling. Together with Comet, it won the tender for aircraft dismantling and aviation materials recycling in the Walloon region.