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Turkey’s Air Force Gets a Boost with $259 Million Avionics Upgrade for F-16 Fighters

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential Foreign Military Sale to Turkey to provide defense goods and services to upgrade its current fleet of F-16 aircraft and associated equipment, with an estimated cost of $259 million. Turkey has requested to purchase defense items and services to support its current fleet of F-16 aircraft, including avionics software upgrades for the Operational Flight Program (OFP) with Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) capability, and hardware modifications to enable integration of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Block Upgrade II (MIDS BU II), which was procured separately.

The upgrades involve both hardware and software modifications, including major aircraft modifications, classified and unclassified software and software support, integration and testing support, support equipment, training and training equipment, spare and repair parts, publications and technical documentation, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistical support services, and other logistical and program support-related elements.

This proposed sale aims to improve Turkey’s interoperability with NATO and enhance the safety of flight for Turkey’s existing F-16 aircraft, supporting the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Fort Worth, TX, will be the main contractor.

Turkey is one of just five countries in the world that produce the F-16 Fighting Falcon locally. The Turkish Air Force has a total of 270 F-16C/D aircraft in its inventory, all Block 30/40/50 models. In 1984, Turkey established Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and began producing locally licensed fighter aircraft, including a total of 232 F-16 Fighting Falcon (Block 30/40/50) aircraft for the Turkish Air Force.

The air force had previously received eight F-16s purchased directly from the U.S., bringing the total number of F-16s received by the air force to 245. In 2007, TAI built 30 F-16 Block 50+ aircraft for the air force and applied the CCIP modernization program to 117 of its Block 40 and 50 F-16s, upgrading them to the Block 50+ configuration.

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