Turkey has secured a $259 million foreign military sale agreement with Lockheed Martin, approved by the U.S. State Department, to upgrade its fleet of F-16 fighters by enhancing avionics and flight control systems, including software refresh and hardware modifications for improved capabilities. (Photo: Turkish Ministry of Defense)
Turkey will upgrade the avionics and flight control systems in its fleet of F-16 fighters under a new agreement with Lockheed Martin recently greenlit by the U.S. State Department.
The NATO ally requested and has been approved for a $259 million foreign military sale (FMS) of “defense articles and services” to upgrade its current fleet of F-16s and support equipment, according to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The upgrades will include software refresh of the aircraft’s operational flight program (OFP) avionics, which has an automatic ground collision avoidance system (AGCAS) capability and hardware modifications to enable integration of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Block Upgrade II (MIDS BU II), procured separately.
Also included in the FMS package are hardware and software upgrades to include aircraft major modification, classified and unclassified software and software support, integration and test support, support equipment, training equipment, spare parts, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistical support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The estimated total cost is $259 million.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve [Turkey’s] interoperability with NATO and ensure safety of flight for [Turkey’s] existing F-16 aircraft,” DSCA said in a statement. “The proposed sale will improve [Turkey’s] capability to meet current and future threats and assist in defending its homeland and U.S. personnel stationed there.”
Lockheed Martin, which built the F-16 at the Fort Worth, Texas, plant where it now builds the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, will handle the upgrades but will not need to send contractors to Turkey to overhaul the jet cockpits, DSCA said.