F-16s can be produced in Turkey! TAI is planned to take part

2 mins read

The U.S. State Department has formally notified Congress to award Turkey 40 F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, 79 F-16 Block 70 modernization kits and a host of accompanying equipment.

With the signing of the agreement with Lockheed Martin, the first F-16s are expected to be delivered in 2029. The modernization of the F-16s is expected to begin in 2025.


The F-16 sale and modernization agreement is expected to be approved by Congress shortly and the timetable is expected to officially begin. The first deliveries can be made in at least 4 years. Priority in the delivery schedule will be given to modernization kits. The monthly capacity of Lockheed Martin’s F-16 production facility is limited to 4 aircraft. In addition, the facility is operating at full capacity for other countries’ F-16s under previously approved sales contracts. Bahrain, Slovakia, Taiwan, Bulgaria and Jordan have contracts for more than 100 F16-Block 70s waiting in line for production.


In order not to prolong the delivery schedule too much, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), which has the infrastructure in this field, is among the options for the 79 modernization kits to be integrated into the Turkish F-16s in the inventory. Between 1987 and 2012, TAI assembled 270 F-16 fighter jets in different configurations and modernized many more. TAI facilities are currently carrying out the modernization of Block 30, Block 40 and Block 50 type F16s within the scope of the Özgür-1 and Özgür-2 projects.


One of the options is for TAI and Lockheed Martin to cooperate for the production of F-16s for Turkey, and for some of the aircraft to be assembled in Turkey. It is also stated that Lockheed Martin officials are examining TAI’s F-16 modernization and production lines to evaluate this option.


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