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F-16 CCIP Modernization Project of Turkish Air Force

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--- Quote ---Turkey To Fund More Lockheed F-16 Upgrades

After securing an agreement with the United States for the upgrade of 117 Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft by U.S. defense giant Lockheed Martin, Turkish officials said Ankara also wants to modernize the service’s remaining 100 jets under a follow-up deal to be signed next year.

The U.S. and Turkish governments April 26 signed in Ankara a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) for the systems upgrade of Turkish F-16 Fighting Falcons at an estimated total value of $1.1 billion. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Fort Worth, Texas, will be the principal contractor for the program. Under the arrangement, Turkey has an option until December 2006 to order the upgrade of the remaining 100 F-16s.

“We will definitely exercise that option to have all our F-16s modernized, and earmark funds for the second upgrade program,” said a senior Turkish procurement official. “F-16 modernization is a top priority for our Air Force and our armed forces.”

Defense analysts in Ankara suggested that the follow-up upgrade program could be worth around $700 million.

The LOA signature clears the way for contract negotiations to begin with the industry participants.

The long-lead contract with Lockheed Martin, maker of the F-16, is expected to be signed in July, Lockheed Martin officials said.

“For this program, it starts with 80 aircraft, 76 of which are Block 50s and four are Block 40s. Then we add 37 Block 30s. So it is a total of 117 airplanes,” said Jerry Jones, an Ankara-based Lockheed Martin vice president for Turkish programs.

The government-to-government deal will be financed through Foreign Military Sale loans, a form of U.S. government credit designed to support sales of U.S. military equipment to allied and friendly countries.
The estimated value of Lockheed’s portion in the Turkish upgrade program is about $800 million, said a Lockheed statement.

Turkish and Lockheed Martin officials also confirmed Turkey’s plans to use the upgraded F-16s as a stop-gap solution until the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), or F-35, enters the Turkish Air Force’s inventory in upcoming decades.

“We don’t anticipate that Turkey will buy any additional F-16s,” Jones said. “They [Turkey] are already a member of the JSF program. So as the F-16s begin to use up their structural life, the JSFs will replace them.”
Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said the upgrade program would keep the Turkish F-16 fleet in service until 2040, but experts are skeptical. One Turkish industry source said one rational expectation would be to see the upgraded aircraft in service until 2025.

Turkey is one of the eight allied members of the U.S.-led JSF program, agreeing to pay $175 million for partnership in the project’s ongoing system development and demonstration phase. The high-tech, next-generation fighter jet is the largest contract in the U.S. Defense Department’s history, worth more than $200 billion. Lockheed Martin is leading the work to build more than 3,000 supersonic F-35s; the plane is expected to be operable toward the end of this decade.

Turkish officials earlier said the country could buy around 100 F-35s.

Experience Pays Off

Lockheed Martin officials said Turkey’s F-16 upgrade would be inexpensive because it would make use of experience gained in earlier U.S. modernization programs.

“The Turkish Air Force is taking advantage of a cost-effective upgrade program to their F-16s,” said June Shrewsbury, Lockheed’s vice president for F-16 programs. “This program is based on a similar approach by the U.S. Air Force. Therefore, much of the design and development effort has already been accomplished, and our task will be to address unique aspects of the Turkish configuration.”

The configuration to be integrated consists of the APG-68(V)9 multimode radar, currently being installed on new Advanced Block 50/52 F-16s; color cockpit displays and recorders; new core avionics processors; Link 16, a modern communications data link; advanced interrogator-transponder; integrated precision navigation; a unique electronic warfare system; and compatibility with a number of new weapons and targeting systems, according to the Lockheed Martin statement.

Turkish procurement officials said the Block-30 modernization would be limited to an avionics and electronics upgrade, plus some essentials, while the emphasis would be on the Block 50s, more modern versions of the F-16.

For Turkey’s part, “our own defense industry also will greatly benefit from this deal,” Gonul said.

“The aircraft modifications will be performed by Tusas Aerospace Industries, which will help sustain the Turkish industrial base.” Shrewsbury said.

Under a $4.2 billion contract with Lockheed Martin in the late 1980s, Turkey created Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI) to co-manufacture 160 F-16s at its Akinci plant near Ankara. TAI co-produced another 80 aircraft for the Turkish Air Force under a $2 billion contract in 1992. The last Turkish F-16 was manufactured in 1999.

So far, 23 Turkish F-16s have crashed in various accidents, including four Block 50s, 16 Block-40s and three Block 30s, reducing the number of aircraft to be upgraded to 217.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency last October notified the U.S. Congress of the planned sale to Turkey of the F-16 modernization package and associated equipment and services. Congress approved the plan Oct. 23.
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When was the first Turkish F-16 delivered?

The first F-16 was delivered to TuAF on October 22nd, 1987 (Serial number:86-0066). First 8 aircraft of Peace Onyx project (a total of 180 F-16C/D Block-30/40's) were directly purchased from USA. PO-I was completed on July 27th, 1995. Peace Onyx-II consisted of 80 F-16C/D Block-50's. They were delivered between 1996 and 1999.


FORT WORTH, Texas , July 20, 2005 --

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] received a long-lead contract, valued at approximately $67.7 million, from the U.S. Air Force to begin development of a major systems upgrade of Turkish Air Force F-16 aircraft. The total contract is valued at approximately $800 million and is expected to be issued in mid-2006.

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