191 Filo converted to the F-16 in 1990. It was the first Turkish squadron to fly with the block 50 version of the Fighting Falcon. Previous orders had compromised both block 30 and block 40 airframes. With the Peace Onyx II and III orders, the newer block 50’s were ordered so the Turkish Air Force could have the availability of radar suppressing missiles. This task was completely new to the Turkish Air Force.
With the introduction of the block 50 F-16, the main task of the squadron became SEAD. Since 191 Filo is the only of three squadrons within the Turkish Air Force (the other two being 151 and 152 Filos) to perform these kind of missions, these assets are a cornerstone of the Turkish Air Force. Besides this task, they have a dedicated strike role. Nuclear weapons were previously located on base, but since 1996 the vaults have been placed in caretaker status and weapons were moved to Incirlik AB.
TuAF F-16C block 50 #94-0083
from 191 Filo seen air to air on September 3rd, 2007. [Photo by Halil Durmuslar]
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 cockpit and advanced electronics. This upgrade will enhance the aircraft even further to carry new kind of weapons and introduce new technologies which were not available at the time when the contract for these fighters was signed.