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Cutting-Edge Avionics Upgrade for Turkish F-16 Fighters Approved by US State Department

The US State Department has authorized a potential sale of military equipment and services to the Government of Turkey to upgrade their existing fleet of F-16 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $259 million. Turkey has requested the purchase of defense articles and services to improve their current F-16 aircraft, including software upgrades for the Operational Flight Program (OFP) avionics with the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (AGCAS) capability, and hardware modifications for the integration of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Block Upgrade II (MIDS BU II), which will be procured separately.

The proposed upgrades will involve both classified and unclassified software and software support, as well as aircraft major modification, integration and test 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 related elements of logistical and program support.

The objective of this sale is to support the United States’ foreign policy and national security objectives by enhancing Turkey’s interoperability with NATO and ensuring the safety of flight for their existing F-16 aircraft. The main contractor for this project will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Fort Worth, TX.

Turkey is one of only five countries worldwide that produce the F-16 Fighting Falcon locally. The Turkish Air Force currently has 270 F-16C/D aircraft in their inventory, all of them Block 30/40/50 models. In 1984, Turkey established Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and started producing fighter aircraft locally under license, 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 8 F-16s purchased directly from the U.S., bringing their total number of F-16s 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 their Block 40 and 50 F-16s, upgrading them to the Block 50+ configuration.

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