February 6, 2012 (by Asif Shamim) - The Pakistani airforce received its first two MLU upgraded F-16s today at PAF Shahbaz airbase after the aircraft arrived back from the USA.
PAF F-16B block 15 #82603 is touching down on the runway at Lajes AFB on its way from Pakistan to the US for its MLU conversion. [Photo by Fabio Rocha]
Accompanying the two upgraded F-16s was the final block 52
airframe a D-Model (#10801
) which had remained in the US for testing & trials. This concludes the delivery of all 18 of the newer Block 52 aircraft ordered as part of the 'Peace Drive' program.
According to PAF
public affairs officials the two F-16 block 15
aircraft, were earlier sent to USA for Mid Life Upgrade (MLU
) and have been delivered back to the PAF on time. On there return a small ceremony was held at the base attended by PAF dignitaries.
The United States has released $ 116 million to finance mid-life upgrades for Pakistan
's existing fleet of block 15 A/B aircraft.
Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will do the upgrade MLU which primarily involves replacement of avionics and structural modifications bringing them close to block 40