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In a move to express its appreciation to Turkey for hosting NATO X- band radars the US has in addition to selling Predator drones provided Turkey with the source codes for the F-16.
Turkey Gets F-16 Source Code
November 4, 2011: The U.S. has agreed to supply Turkey with source code for F-16 fire control and flight system software, so that Turkey can modify F-16 software to use Turkish made weapons and equipment. This will be part of a Turkish refurbishment of 213 of their F-16s. This will cost about $5.2 million per aircraft, and include a lot of Turkish made equipment. Over the last decade, Turkey has been producing more military gear locally, and now produces over half its military equipment needs.
But most major items of equipment are still obtained from foreign suppliers. For example, four years ago, Turkey bought another 30 F-16C Block 50 fighters, for over $60 million each. This will give Turkey one of the largest F-16s fleets (nearly 250) in the world. These new F-16s are beginning to arrive.
Like Israel, Turkey is upgrading its older F-16s. There are actually six major models of the F-16 currently in use, and identified by block number (32, 40, 42, 50, 52, 60), plus the Israeli F-16I, which is a major modification of the Block 52. Another special version (the Block 60), for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is called the F-16E. The various block mods included a large variety of new components (five engines, four sets of avionics, five generations of electronic warfare gear, five radars and many other mechanical, software, cockpit and electrical mods.) Countries like Turkey can thus add the new components and turn an older F-16 into a more powerful model. There are also some older (Block 1, 5, 15, 20, 25, 30) aircraft out there, all with two decade old technology. The Turkish upgrade program seeks countries with these older models, and offers competitive prices for upgrades. With the use of Turkish made components, the newly upgraded Turkish F-16s will be unique (like the Israeli F-16I and the UAE F-16E).
Turkey is also becoming a bigger player in the upgrade market. For example, Pakistan is having a Turkish firm to upgrade elderly Pakistani F-16s from Block 15 configuration to Block 40. Now that the U.S. has lifted its arms embargo on Pakistan, there are many firms competing for all the work needed to update older American weapons still used by Pakistan. The Turks have long had good trade relations with Pakistan, and have also developed, with the help of the U.S. and Israel, a capable aircraft maintenance and upgrade industry. Most of the F-16 work will be done in Pakistan, using Turkish engineers and technicians supervising some local workers, and using largely imported (from Turkey and elsewhere) components.
The F-16 is the most numerous post-Cold War jet fighter, with over 4,200 built, and more in production. There are 24 nations using the F-16, and 14 have ordered more, in addition to their initial order. During The Cold War, Russia built over 10,000 MiG-21s, and the U.S over 5,000 F-4s, but since then warplane production has plummeted about 90 percent. But since the end of the Cold War, the F-16 has been popular enough to keep the production lines going, despite the fact that the F-35 is supposed to replace the F-16. But the F-35 price keeps going up (it's headed north of $100 million per aircraft), and the F-16 continues to get the job done at half that price.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairf ... comments=Y
Turkey to rewrite software source codes of 204 F-16 fighters
The US administration agreed in principle almost two months ago for the transfer of information over software source codes of US Lockheed Martin-made F-16 fighters to Turkey.
Once the agreement is completed, and if approved by the US Congress, Turkey will have the capability to automatically modify the software source codes of the fighters’ weapons systems with national software source codes, said US sources who asked not to be named.Turkey will become the first nation among 26 to have the F-16s in their inventories and have the ability to receive information on the F-16 fighters’ software source codes -- primarily their weapons systems -- thereby enabling it to replace them with national software source codes whenever necessary.
Once Turkey and the US complete around 50 pages of technical details over the nature of the US transfer of technology, an agreement should be signed, pending US congressional approval.
The US Congress has long prevented arms transfers to NATO member Turkey, mainly in reaction to its strained ties with Israel.
However, the US administration has as of late sought US congressional authorization for the sale of three AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters to Turkey. This indicates a softening on the part of the congress toward Turkey.
Turkey has a long-standing request for Super Cobras. It has a shortage of these helicopters, required in its ongoing fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists, who have increased their violent attacks as of late.
Meanwhile, it is not clear whether the US administration will seek US congressional authorization for another long-standing Turkish request for the sale of four Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and two armed Reaper UAVs.
However, some of the weapons, including Predators that the US reportedly pledged to transfer to Turkey as it withdraws from Iraq in December of this year, are said to not be subject to the approval of the US Congress. These are weapons the US used during its war in Iraq.
Missile defense link
US sources stated that Washington has agreed in principle to transfer the information mainly concerning the weapon systems of the F-16s so that Turkey can integrate by itself the national software source codes because Turkey has pursued a very persistent policy on the matter.
However, Turkey’s approval to deploy a radar system of the US-supported NATO Missile Defense System on its soil is understood to have played an important role in Washington’s agreement to in principle transfer the software source codes of mainly the weapons systems of the F-16s to Turkey. Turkey agreed last month to host a powerful US-supplied radar system to act as advanced eyes for a layered shield against ballistic missiles coming from outside Europe.
The AN/TPY-2 surveillance radar in Turkey will boost the shield’s capability against Iran, which Washington alleges is seeking to build nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.
“By agreeing to transfer information on F-16 weapon systems so that Turkey could automatically integrate them with national software source codes, the US sought to ease tensions with its NATO ally, which is important in safeguarding US interests in the Middle East. The US also puts strong emphasis on seeing Turkish-Israeli relations normalize,” said the US source.
50 weapons systems on each F-16
Lockheed Martin this year began supplying Turkey with 14 F-16C variants and 16 F-16Ds under a deal signed in May 2007. The total cost of 30 additional F-16s to Turkey is $1.78 billion.
Under a separate agreement signed in April 2005 between Turkey and the US, 213 Turkish F-16s are being upgraded at a cost of $1.1 billion at the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara. Turkey will be able to change the software source codes of the weapons systems on a total of 204 F-16s with national software source codes if a final agreement is reached with the US.
There are 50 different types of weapons systems on each F-16 that are classified.
Muhabir: Lale Kemal