July 11, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The Peace Onyx III F-16 modernization program kicked off at TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) with the arrival of the first four F-16s at their facilities on 2 July 2007.
TuAF F-16C block 40 #91-0017 from 132 Filo is seen taxiing out to take off from RAF Lakenheath on July 8th, 2007. [Photo by Benn George]
The preparation activities between the Turkish Air Force (TUAF
), Lockheed Martin and TAI have been completed.
The Peace Onyx III program will create a robust, common avionics configuration for Turkey
's fleets of F-16 block 40
and block 50
The configuration being 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, the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System, Link 16 data link, advanced interrogator/transponder, integrated precision navigation, a unique electronic warfare system, and compatibility with a number of new weapons and targeting systems.
Lockheed Martin is the principal contractor for the program. Tasks include the development effort, kit accumulation, technical assistance for kit installation, upgrades to pilot training systems, and logistics support and training. The baseline program includes kits for 37 Block 30s, 76 Block 50s and four Block 40s. There is an option for 100 more Block 40 kits.
Kit installation will be performed by TUSAS Aerospace Industries with technical assistance from Lockheed Martin
Last May, Turkey signed a $1.78 billion deal today to buy another 30 F-16 Fighting Falcons from Lockheed Martin. As a continuation of the previous F-16 programs, this sale is named Peace Onyx 4.