182 Filo was the second squadron in Diyarbakir to receive the new F-16. Like most squadrons within the Turkish Air Force, these are of the block 40 version. Diyarbakir AB was the last to convert to the block 40 version since Turkish orders for new F-16s in later acquisitions were of the block 50 version. The F-16 replaced the F-104G Starfighter, as in most European NATO countries. The squadron was mainly tasked with air defence and this task remained with the arrival of the new fighter, although all kind of missions can be flown with the F-16.
Although the squadron is equipped with a version of the F-16 which is specialised in day and night-time attack missions when an advanced targeting system is installed, 182 Filo is mainly tasked with air defence. This is very necessary since the squadron is the only in the south eastern part of Turkey with this mission. The region is well-known for its unstable nature near the Iraqi border and with regular Kurdish attacks in Turkish territory, the squadron’s schedule is mostly quite busy.
TuAF F-16C block 40 #92-0018
from 182 Filo is taking off at Balikesir AB during the Tigermeet 2005 edition. [Photo by Emin Fýndýklý
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.