141 Filo was the first operational F-16 squadron in the Turkish air Force in 1989. The first order of the Turkish military was for 160 F-16s build under Peace Onyx I. These aircraft were to be build to block 30 standards. The first aircraft delivered to 141 Filo were of this block 30 version. After airframe no. 43, the production was shifted to the block 40 version. All delivered aircraft to 141 Filo were rotated with 142 Filo so the squadron could receive the newer block, with more advanced weapons at its disposal.
The F-16 replaced the F-104G Starfighter, as in most European NATO countries. The mission of the squadron thus was air defence as primary role, with a secondary attack role. This did not change with the introduction of the F-16. It was just replacing an obsolete aircraft with a newer one with more capabilities. Besides this task, they alos have a dedicated strike role. Nuclear weapons are stored at Incirlik AB and the squadron is relocated there in case of such an emergency.
TuAF F-16C block 40 #89-0030
from 141 Filo seen on final approach to Florennes AB on March 24th, 2004. [Photo by Elmer van Hest]
Since a number of years, all F-16s squadrons within the Turkish air force are multi-role. This means they can handle all missions, but are specialised in one. With the CCIP program – which will start in 2009 – the aircraft will get an upgrade which will prolong their service life and introduce a completely new block 50 cockpit and advanced electronics.
With the delivery of the brand-new block 50 airframes in 2011-2012, 141 Filo was the second unit to convert to these new airframes. The older block 40 airframes are dispersed throughout the other block 40 squadrons within the TuAF to get them back to full airframe capacity.