F-16s in “Mass” Customization

The F-16 production line continues to turn out Falcons at a rate of about six per month, according to June Shrewsbury, Lockheed’s vice-president for F-16 programs. There are now five different configurations—bound for nine countries—intermixed on the assembly line. Lean manufacturing techniques allow a mass-production approach to what are essentially customer-specific versions. Lockheed calls this “mass customization.” In all, the company has produced more than 120 different configurations.