April 10, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Turkey has advanced in its upgrade of the F-16 fleet of Jordan. TAI, a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin in this $1.1 billion project, has now completed the upgrade of several of the F-16s.
The first Jordanian F-16A, #222, at the roll-out ceremony at the Ogden ALC [F-16.net photo]
Within the framework of the contract signed with the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF
) in July 2005, the Falcon-up, Falcon Star and Mid Life Upgrade (MLU
) modifications of a total of 17 block 15
F-16 aircraft will be performed by Turkey
's state-owned Tusas Aerospace Industries (TAI).
TAI executives said Tusas has been modifying the F-16 frame to enable the upgrade. They said the company was also installing F-16 Mid-Life Upgrade kits into the aircraft.
Twelve planes will be renovated in TAI facilities while the remaining five will be upgraded in Jordan
under the supervision of TAI engineers.
Under the program, the first two F-16s, to be modified, arrived at TAI's facilities in April 2005. Following the acceptance tests, the aircraft were moved to the modification area of the manufacturing facility for pre modification activities. Falcon-up, Falcon Star and MLU modernization activities were initiated in the dissasembled aircraft in June 2006.
In January 2007, the first F-16 arrived in Jordan for serial upgrade and the first modified aircraft of which will be delivered in October 2007.
Between 1994 and1999 TAI successfully realized the structural modification -- "Falcon-Up" of a total of 134 F-16 C/D aircraft that are in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force.