January 6, 2011 (by Asif Shamim) - Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) will deliver the first new Lockheed Martin F-16's to the Turkish Air Force (TUAF) during March under the Peace Onyx 4 programme.
TuAF F-16C block 50 #94-0096 from 152 Filo is seen air to air with a sister jet during a mission as part of Anatolian Eagle. [TuAF photo]
A total of 30 new block 50
+ F-16C/Ds will be manufactured at TAI's Ankara facility under a 2007 agreement between Turkey
and Lockheed. The first two-seat aircraft covered by the $1.65 billion deal was shown to President of Turkey, Abdullah Gul in December.
Under this contract TAI will be responsible for the assembly, flight operations and delivery.
TAI started manufacturing F-16s in 1987. It had delivered 240 to the Turkish air force by 1998, plus 46 to the Egyptian air force. The company reopened its assembly line for the type in late 2009.