152 Filo converted to the F-16 in 1999. It was one of the last Turkish squadron to convert to the Fighting Falcon. It was activated as a dual squadron together with 151 Filo, sharing the same block type and mission profile. Previous orders in the Turkish Air Force had comprised both block 30 and block 40 airframes. With the Peace Onyx III order, the newer block 50’s were ordered so the Turkish Air Force could have the availability of radar suppressing missiles.
With the introduction of the block 50 F-16, the main task of the squadron became SEAD. Since 152 Filo is the only of three squadrons within the Turkish Air Force (the other two being 151 and 191 Filos) to perform these kind of missions, these assets are a cornerstone of the Turkish air force.
TuAF F-16C block 50 #93-0672
from 152 Filo is seen landing during Anatolian Eagle 2007/2 at Konya AB on June 19th, 2007. [TuAF photo]
For 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 cockpit and advanced electronics. For 152 Filo this won’t change much to its current setup since their block 50s were already delivered with colour displays and advanced electronics. But this upgrade will enhance the aircraft even further to carry new kind of weapons and introduce new technologies which weren’t available at the time when the contract for these fighters was signed.
TuAF F-16D block 50 #94-1559
from 152 Filo is seen landing on January 20th, 2006. [TuAF photo]