Turkey has started the modernization of its F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 fighter jets. The modernization effort is also based on a nationally developed system. This was also conveyed by the Chairman of the Presidency of the Defense Industry Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir.
Quoted from Bulgarian Military, he answered questions posed to him in the “Special on the record” program. “We will definitely modernize the F-16 ourselves. And we did very well.
In addition, mission computers and other avionics elements equipped with national systems can be used as fully internal systems. There is no doubt that the Block 40 and Block 50 F-16s will receive these upgrades,” Demir said during the broadcast.
The upgrade effort was carried out through the Ozgur program. Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir believes that the Ozgur program is fully suitable for the Block 40 and 50 F-16s. In June this year, Turkey announced that 35 F-16 Block 30 units would be modernized under the program and were expected to leave the hangar by the end of the year.
In addition, Turkish F-16 pilot helmets will also receive an upgrade. This is expected to be an integrated helmet targeting system, indicators in the central cockpit and a color multifunction display that will be integrated.
Not only that, Turkey also intends to modernize the AESA radar. A new Turkish AESA radar is being developed by Aselsan. The radar is expected to be able to search remotely [unspecified]. It will also be able to track intercepted targets, as well as multiple targets [unreported how many]. Radar will also show weather conditions, detect targets, and assist pilots during air combat.
In addition, Turkey also intends to arm the F-16s with national weapons. According to sources, by the end of 2022, Turkey plans to decommission its existing AIM-9 AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.
Later, replacing them with the locally produced equivalents Merlin [Bozdoğan] In Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile [WVRAAM] and Peregrine [Gökdoğan] Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile [BVRAAM].
It should be noted that Turkey seems to be getting the F-16 fighter jets. The reason is, on August 15, Turkey and the US will hold a technical meeting to discuss the F-16 fighter jet.
According to Anadolu Agency, the meeting was to discuss an agreement to purchase F-16 fighter jets. This has also been confirmed by the Minister of Defence, Hulusi Akar.
Figuratively speaking, the F-16s “might arrive” in Turkey in mid-August as the sales door will be wide open. At the same time, Akar noted that Turkey is ready for both positive and negative outcomes of the negotiations. “Ankara hopes for a positive outcome from negotiations on the delivery of F-16s from the US. Otherwise, there are already many alternatives in the world. New solutions are not excluded,” said Akar.