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Turkish Air Force to get all F-16C/D fighters modernized by 2025.

| 2023

The Turkish Air Force possesses a total of 270 F-16C/D aircraft, all falling under the Block 30/40/50 models. An agreement was reached at the 16th International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul on July 26, as reported by Anadolu news agency, stating that Turkey will finalize the modernization of its F-16 Block-30 and F-16 Block-40/50 type fighter jets by 2025. The task of modernization will be carried out by the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

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Turkish Air Force to get all F 16CD fighters modernized by 2025 F-16C of the Turkish Air Force  (Picture source: Turkish Air Force)

Haluk Görgün, the head of the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), revealed that the F-16s will undergo modernization using indigenous avionic equipment. Both software and hardware will be updated to facilitate integration with indigenous ammunition.

The F-16 Özgür modernization program, led by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), focuses on upgrading the existing 35 F-16 Block 30 jets. The upgrades include the installation of a unique mission computer with national avionics and national OFP software. Additionally, the aircraft will receive various component upgrades, such as a national mission computer, system interface units, cockpit upper front control panels, fuel hydraulic indicators, engine display screens, emergency indicators, national sound safety devices, national friend-foe identification (IFF) systems, multi-mode receivers, inertial navigation systems, interface blinding units, helmet-integrated aiming systems, center cockpit indicator, and color multifunction displays.

The F-16C (single-seat) and F-16D (two-seat) variants were introduced in 1984, with the initial version being Block 25. The Block 25 featured improved cockpit avionics and radar, allowing all-weather capability and the use of beyond-visual-range (BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-to-air missiles. Subsequent versions included Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 for the F-16C/D. The unit cost of an F-16C/D was US$18.8 million in 1998, while the estimated operational cost per flight hour ranged from $7,000 to $22,470 or $24,000, depending on the calculation method.

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