Turkey

Turk Hava Kuvvetleri
Turkish Air Force - TUAF


Introduction

The Turkish Air Force has a total of 270 F-16C/D aircraft in its inventory, all of them Block 30/40/50 models. Turkey is one of five countries to locally produce F-16s.

Inventory

Peace Onyx I

In September 1983, the government of Turkey announced plans to buy 132 F-16C's and 24 F-16D's under the Peace Onyx I program, which operates under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. The first eight aircraft in the order were to be built at Fort Worth, but the remaining 148 aircraft were to be assembled in Turkey at TUSAS Aerospace Industries (TAI) at Akinci (formerly Mürted). TUSAS is an acronym which stands for Turkiye Ucak Sanayii AS, or Turkish Aircraft Industries, which is a company owned jointly by Turkish and American shareholders. Under the terms of Peace Onyx I, TAI is not allowed to sell its aircraft to any air force, including the THK. Consequently, F-16s built at Akinci have to be delivered first to the USAF, which then turns them over to the THK. In practice, each locally-built F-16 makes a flight to NAS Sigonella (or any other US base close to Turkey) where it performs a touch-and-go (obligatory; the aircraft has to touch US soil) and then flies back to Turkey.

The Turk Hava Kuvvetleri(THK, or Turkish Air Force) received its first two F-16s (both Lockheed-built block 30 F-16C's, #86-0066 and #86-0067) as assembly kits in March of 1987, and Turkey officially received its first F-16D in a ceremony at Fort Worth in July of 1987. The first Turkish F-16C/D's arrived at Murted AB in October of 1987, followed by the first flight of a Turkish-built F-16C (#86-0068) on October 20th, 1987. Starting with the 44th aircraft (USAF serial number #88-0033), all THK F-16s from the first batch were manufactured to block 40 standard. Production of the Peace Onyx I order ended with F-16C Block 40 #93-0014.

TAI has also been awarded a contract to build wings, center fuselages, and aft fuselages for USAF F-16s. They have also been awarded a contract to build 46 Block 40 F-16C/D's for the Egyptian Air Force under the Peace Vector IV program (to be delivered through the USAF of course).


First F-16C Block 30B delivered to the Turkish AF (and built by Lockheed Forth Worth), #86-0066, flying over the Aya Sofia Mosque in Istanbul. [LMTAS photo]

Peace Onyx II

In March of 1992, a follow-on order for two batches of 40 block 50 F-16C/D's (68 C's and 12 D's) was placed under the Peace Onyx II FMS program. The funding of the first 40 planes will be met primarily by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Emirates. Peace Onyx II started with the production of F-16 Block 50, serial number #93-0657. The program is worth some USD $3.5 billion. TEI (Turkish Engine Industries) will supply 96 F129 IPE engines, ASELSAN will produce 100 LN93-RLG. The Peace Onyx II aircraft were delevered from 1996 till 1997.


TUAF F-16C block 50s #94-0077 and #94-0078 on a CAP mission, armed with two AIM-120s. These aircraft were delivered as part of the Peace Onyx III deal. [TUAF photo]

Peace Onyx III

During the nineties a second batch of 40 additional F-16C/D's had been ordered. These aircraft were intended as attrition replacements. Reportedly, the F-15 and F-18 were also in the running as replacement for the lost F-16s, though never made it due to logistical considerations. The Peace Onyx III aircraft were delivered between 1998 and 1999

Peace Onyx IV

In late 2006 there already were rumours that a new sale of F-16s to Turkey was imminent. However, Turkey had some disagreements with both the US government as with Lockheed over the deal. The US government wanted a Cyprus fly-over ban imposed on the aircraft and Lockheed couldn't meet up with the expected 2010-2011 delivery frame.

In May of 2007 a deal was finally reached and the problems with the US government evidently solved as well as the delivery schedule. This was achieved by allowing licence building of the aircraft at the TUSAS factory in Turkey, just as the other F-16s were mainly build in Turkey in the past. The order compromises of 30 F-16s and associated equipment to cover attrition and a stop-gap measure untill the arrival of the F-35 from 2015 onwards.

TUAF Inventory
Order Model Block Qty. Serials Delivered
Peace Onyx I F-16C Block 30 34 86-0066/86-0072
87-0009/87-0021
88-0019/88-0032
1987-1990
F-16D Block 30 9 86-0191/86-0196
87-0002/87-0003
88-0013
1987-1989
F-16C Block 40 102 88-0033/88-0037
89-0022/89-041
90-0001/90-0021
91-0001/91-0021
92-0001/92-0021
93-0001/93-0014
1990-1995
F-16D Block 40 15 88-0014/88-0015
89-0042/89-0045
90-0022/90-0024
91-0022/91-0024
92-0022/92-0024
1990-1994
Peace Onyx II F-16C Block 50 34 93-0657/93-0690 1996-1997
F-16D Block 50 6 93-0691/93-0696 1996-1997
Peace Onyx III F-16C Block 50 26 94-0071/94-0096 1998-1999
F-16D Block 50 14 94-0105/94-0110
94-1557/94-1564
1998-1999
Peace Onyx IV F-16C Block 50 14 07-1001/07-1014 2011-2012
F-16D Block 50 16 07-1015/07-1030 2011-2012

Modifications & Armament

Block 40 Modifications

The Peace Onyx I Block 40 aircraft are fitted with the GPS navigation system (LN-39 INS license-built by ASELSAN), APG-68(V) radar, automatic terrain-following radar, digital flight controls, more efficient chaff and flare dispensers, and the ability to carry AIM-7 and AIM-120 radar-guided BVR missiles. These Block 40 aircraft are also compatible with the LANTIRN low-level night navigation and attack system, and are powered by General Electric F110-GE-100 engines, which are built under license by TAI Engines at Eskisehir. In 1994, TAI began the Falcon-Up modification program on the Peace Onyx I aircraft, consisting mainly of structural improvements.

Block 50 Modifications

The Block 50 machines are equipped with the APG-68(V5) radar, a secure-voice communication system, new radar warning receivers, and the ability to carry and launch the AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile. The introduction of the Block 50 gives the THK F-16 force true SEAD capabilities.

Common Configuration Implementation Program (CCIP)

In April of 2005 the Turkish government signed a LoA for the upgrade of 217 F-16s (38 block 30, 104 block 40, 76 block 50) totalling $3.9 billion if all options are exercised. The upgrade for the Turkish F-16s consist 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. This upgrade will see the Turkish F-16s use common hard- and software.

Armament

The THK has acquired a number of state-of-the art weapon systems for its F-16s, including AGM-65A/B Maverick TV-guided missiles and AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. On October 9th, 1997, the US Department of Defense announced the possible sale to the government of Turkey of an additional 138 AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), 120 LAU-129A/A launchers, containers, spare and repair parts, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $62 million.

The TUAF has recently purchased POPEYE attack missiles from Israel to be used by both the F-16s and F-4E's upgraded by Israel.

Together with the signing of the CCIP contract in April of 2005, a number of new weapon systems are to be installed on the Turkish vipers, including AGM-84H (SLAM-ER), AIM-120C, AGM-154A/B, AIM-9X and CBU-103/105. A further number of other weapon systems will be integrated in the mission software of the F-16s, including IRIS-T, Python 5, Derby and Penguin.

Navigation & Targeting Pods

The Bandirma-based Block 40 F-16s were scheduled to receive the AN/AAQ-13 navigation and AN/AAQ-14 targeting pod of the LANTIRN system. These were the first F-16s outside the USAF to receive LANTIRN pods. 161 Filo received its first LANTIRN-equipped Block 40 F-16C in February 1994. By May of 1994, seven F-16s had received LANTIRN modifications locally, and the F-16s of 161 Filo were fully LANTIRN-equipped by the end of 1996. A total of 158 aircraft were modified to accept LANTIRN.

The Peace Onyx II Block 50 aircraft have the ability to fire the AGM-88 HARM. A batch of AGM-88 missiles was delivered to Turkey for its block 50 aircraft.


TuAF F-16C Block 40 #90-0020 from 161 Filo, equipped with the AN/AAQ-13 & AN/AAQ-14 LANTIRN pods, on the taxitrack at Florennes AB during a TLP exercise [MilAviationPics photo]

ECM Equipment

Peace Onyx I aircraft were originally fitted with the ALQ-178(V)3 Rapport III ECM systems. 160 passive and 122 active kits were installed. The Peace Onyx III F-16s were the first Turkish F-16s to be fitted with the Loral ALQ-178(V)5 Rapport III ECM system. The system was later installed on the Peace Onyx I & II aircraft as well.

The ALQ-131 countermeasures pod is reportedly in service, but the THK has declined to confirm this.

Operational Service

Units

Please refer to the F-16 Units section for an overview of units.

Deployments

Allied Force
Aviano AB, Italy

Turkey has provided 18 F-16s to the allied campaign against Serbia - 11 stationed at the NATO base at Aviano, Italy, and the other seven at home. All of the planes were equipped with laser-guided bombs using the LANTIRN night-vision system. Turkish F-16s have been bombing targets in Yugoslavia, sharply increasing their involvement in the air war. Turkish jets previously had been patrolling Balkan airspace, providing protection for attacking planes. During this campaign, Turkish F-16s have set a world CAP record by patrolling for 9 hours and 22 minutes above the Balkan theatre. Normal CAP missions last between 3 and 4 hours.

PKK campaigns
Turkey

Turkish F-16s are often used in the conflict against the PKK. Mostly they provide air cover for the ground forces.

Greek/Turkish incidents
Aegean Sea

Over the years, Turkish F-16s have often been involved in fights with Greek aircraft over the much disputed parts of the Aegean Sea. A lot of rumors exist on the aircraft shot down on both sides of the borders. We are working on a more accurate account of these events.



Special thanks

  • Ahmet M. Cakmakci;
  • Ilhan Olcay.

Errors and Omissions

Apr 17, 2006 - 07:30 PM

Peace Onyx I F-16C/D Block30/40 have the ALQ-178(v)3 Rapport III ECM. All turkish F-16C/D Block50D do not have EW suite at all. They will receive the ALQ-178(v)5+ Rapport III, of BAE Systems North America, probably up to 2012. Only the F-16C/D Block50D will receive the specific ECM suite.

Recently, only the AGM-154A/C and the AIM-9X were approved. As for the rest weapon systems, the CCIP contract says that their specific software will be installed in case THK wants to acquire those weapons in the future


Jun 09, 2006 - 10:05 AM
Popeye

There is not any Popeye-1 Have Nap or Popeye-2 Have Lite acquisition of TAF for F-16 units. Popeye-1 which technically can not be carried by F-16 due to its weight, has been used by modernised F-4E 2020 Terminator a/c since 2001, however Popeye-2 were evaluated for both F-16 and F-4E 2020 but did not selected and purchased. Instead, TAF decided to buy AGM-84K SLAM-ER for convensionally armed stand-off deep pentration missile requirement in 2005.

Levent ÖZGÜL


Sep 26, 2007 - 11:34 AM
Peace Onyx III & IV

Additional second batch of 40 Block 50s, which were discussed here under Peace Onyx-III subject, shall be included in "PEACE ONYX-II" project. Therefore Pecae Onyx-II covers 40+40=80 Block 50s.

PEACE ONYX-III Program officially represents CCIP+ upgrade/modernization of entire fleet of 211 B30/40/50s. Total 37 B30s, 101 B40s and 73 B50s will be upgraded as "Enhanced and Nationalized" CCIP configuration of USAF program. Initial deal covered 218 a/c at the end of 2004 but after that 7 more F-16s were crashed. Program was started on mid-2007 and will be finalised in 2016. IOC for B50s is planned for 2012.

PEACE ONYX-IV covers local assembly of 30 Advanced Block 50+s. (16 -C and 14 -D). Deliveries was scheduled for 2011-2012. PO-IV F-16s will have CFTs, indigenious LGB, GPS/INS stand-off weapons, AN/ALQ-178[V]5+ SPEWS-III ECMs, Sniper (probably) and AselPod NTPs, and other US avionics and weapons completely same with CCIP PO-III Program.

CCIP Program:

B30s will be subjected to "limited" upgrade i.e. no radar improvement and only for reliable OCU role. B40s and B50s will be "fully enhanced" and will be incorporated with some nationalized avionics and weapons.

Following systems were ordered/secured via FMS and Turkish SSM procurement contracts:

* 127 AIM-9X

* 200 JHMCS

* 200 AN/AVS-9

* 213 AIFF

* 205 Link-16

* 50 CBU-105

* 54 AGM-154A-1

* 50 AGM-154C

* 50 AGM-84K

* 20 AselPod

* Tubitak Paveway-IIT LGBs and new GPS/INS kits

* 60 AN/ALQ-178V[5]+ SPEWS-II for B50s (To be revised to 53+)

Following systems were guaranteed via DSCA/Congressioanl approval and waiting FMS orders and Turkish SSM procurement tenders:

* 180 AN/APG-68[V]9 (To be reduced to max. 174)

* 105 AIM-9X

* 200 GBU-31

* 200 GBU-38

* 50 CBU-103

* 4+2 LOROP-IR Pod

* 2 SAR Pod

* 16+4 Escort Jammer Pod

Following systems were listed via DSCA and LLIs were ordered, awaiting final evaluation and FMS order:

* AIM-120C-5/7/D

* AGM-88B3/C/D

* AGM-84L

* HTS(E) or HTS R7

* Second batch of AGM-154A-1/C

Following systems were under evaluation:

* EGBU-10/12

* AGM-65G2/H/J/K/X upgrade

* Long Shot kits

* JASSM

Following systems were listed on DSCA for evaluation but dropped to purchase:

* Iris-T

* Python-V

* Derby

* Spice

* Penguin 3

Procurement of joint F-4E/F-16 integrated 22 Litening-III was also cancelled. Turkish Aselpod (and may be further direct procurement of 20 Sniper or Litening-IIIs for B50s) is onstream for B40s. Tentative plan for upgrading LANTIRNs to LANTIRN-ER is still under evaluation.

With the PO-III programs B40s will be able to perform Stand-off Strike, CAS, Anti-tank, Tactical Reconnaissance and Maritime Attack roles, and B50s

will be able to perform complete SEAD/DEAD as well as 5th generation BVR air interception duties for both.

Levent OZGUL

turkishdefensenews@yahoo.com


Jan 25, 2012 - 10:34 AM
Peace Onyx III & IV (Update)

Peace Onyx III & IV

PEACE ONYX-III Program officially represents CCIP+ upgrade/modernization of entire fleet of 210 B30/40/50s. Total 37 B30s, 101 B40s and 72 B50s will be upgraded as "Enhanced and Nationalized" CCIP configuration of USAF program. Initial deal covered 218 a/c at the end of 2004 but after that 8 more F-16s were crashed. Program was started on mid-2007 and will be finalised in 2016. IOC for B50s is planned for 2012.

PEACE ONYX-IV covers local assembly of 30 Advanced Block 50+s. (16 -C and 14 -D). Deliveries was scheduled for 2011-2012. PO-IV F-16s will have CFTs, indigenious LGB, GPS/INS stand-off weapons, AIDEWS ECMs, 30 Sniper NTPs, 30 LANTIRN-ER NNPs and other US avionics and weapons completely same with CCIP PO-III Program. Block 50+s will be delivered to 141 and 142 squadrons based at Ankara Akinci.

CCIP Program:

B30s will be subjected to "limited" upgrade i.e. no radar improvement and only for reliable OCU role. B40s and B50s will be "fully enhanced" and will be incorporated with some nationalized avionics and weapons.

Following systems were ordered/secured via FMS and Turkish SSM procurement contracts:

* 127 AIM-9X

* 105 AIM-9X (Batch-II)

* 107 AIM-120C7

* 200 JHMCS

* 200 AN/AVS-9

* 213 AIFF

* 205 Link-16

* 50 CBU-105

* 54 AGM-154A-1

* 50 AGM-154C

* 48 AGM-84K

* 4+16 AselPod

* Tubitak Paveway-IIT LGBs

* Tubitak SAGE SOM A/B1/B2/C 180-km Stand-Off Missile (ING/GPS+TFR and IIR+ATA for B1 to C). B2 has HE Penetrator. C will be navalised version with RF Datalink.

* Tubitak SAGE HGK-2000 GPS/INS Bombs and KGK-1000/500 wing-aided GPS/INS Bombs

* Tubitak SAGE NEB-2000 LGB (PW-II/IIT) or GPS (HGK) Penetration Bomb

* 60 AN/ALQ-178V[5]+ SPEWS-II for B50s (To be revised to 53+)

* 200 AN/APG-68[V]9 (173 plus some spares)

* 200 GBU-31 JDAM

* 200 GBU-38 JDAM

* 5 Elbit Condor-II LOROP-IR Pod (PRESS)

* 2 Elta EL/M-2060P SAR Pod (SARENS)

HGK-1000/500, Dual Mod HGK, Next Generation tri-mod ASM, EO-guided bomb kits, unpowered SOM version, SOM-ER and Atmaca air-to-sea missile are probably being under development

Following systems were listed via DSCA and LLIs were ordered, awaiting final evaluation and FMS order:

* AGM-88B3/C/D

* AGM-84L

* HTS(E) or HTS R7

* Second batch of AGM-154C1

With the PO-III programs B40s will be able to perform Stand-off Strike, CAS, Anti-tank, Tactical Reconnaissance and Maritime Attack roles, and B50s

will be able to perform complete SEAD/DEAD as well as 5th generation BVR air interception duties for both.

Levent OZGUL

turkishdefensenews@yahoo.com




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