TAI and Aselsan sign two $2 billion contracts to upgrade Turkish F-16 Block 30 Fighting Falcon fighters to Block 70/72 level

Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has signed two agreements with Aselsan, Turkey's largest defense company.The deals concern

modernization of the fourth-generation F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.

What is known

TAI and Aselsan decided not to disclose detailscontracts, but industry sources say they are aiming to modernize the aircraft. The amounts of deals that were signed last week amounted to $1.2 billion and almost $800 million.

</ img>

Companies are upgrading aging fighter jetsF-16 Block 30 Fighting Falcon to the level of Block 70/72. The Turkish modernization program was named ÖZGÜR. The first improved aircraft was presented in mid-May of this year.

The project includes a new on-board computer, a radar withactive antenna array with electronic scanning and new avionics systems. Türkiye wants to upgrade about 150 F-16 fighter jets. However, so far it only has source codes for 36 Block 30 aircraft.

The overall modernization plan involves ÖZGÜRinstallation of a new radar station on the Bayraktar Akinci unmanned aerial vehicle. After that, the radar will reach the F-16 Block 30, and in the future it will be installed on the first Turkish fifth-generation fighter KAAN, aka TF-X.

</ img>

We add that Türkiye is close to buying F-16Block 70/72. Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser to the President of the United States, said that Joe Biden supports the transfer of aircraft to Turkey. The potential deal, which could include 40 fighter jets and upgrade kits, is valued at $20 billion.