First indigenously modernized F16s delivered to army
The first domestically modernized F-16 fighter jets have been delivered to the Turkish military, Defense Industries Presidency (SSB) head İsmail Demir has announced.
"We delivered our first F-16s 'freed' by our defense industry with domestic and national systems," Demir tweeted, referring to the project called Özgür, or "Free" in English. "From now on, our F-16s will continue to serve our forces with much more advanced capabilities and in a modernized manner."
The structural improvement project includes increasing the lifespan of the F-16 Block-30 aircraft from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours, read a statement issued by the SSB.
"In addition, avionic capabilities developed with national and domestic means are integrated into our aircraft," the statement said.
Domestic ammunition and missiles will be directly integrated into the F16s thanks to the "national mission computers" installed into the aircraft, it added.
The project will also be applied to the Block-40 and Block-50 aircraft, thus enabling the relevant inventory to be used effectively till the 2040s, according to the SSB.
The statement also pointed out that the aircraft will be able to communicate with other drones and land/sea platforms and elements, suggesting that the project will "give an edge in the field" as they are equipped with the locally made active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.