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Structural Upgrade Of F-16 Blok 30 Fighter Jets Continues

Structural improvements of F-16 Block-30 Aircraft are continuing at full speed. Since more than 7,000 hours of flight were conducted with the F-16 Block 30 fleet in service as of 2016, a structural upgrade is required to increase the service life of these aircraft. The service life of F-16 Block 30 aircraft will be extended from 8.000 hours to 12000 hours.

January 31, 2021

In a statement made on his official social media account, President of Defence Industries Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir said, "Structural upgrades of F-16 Block-30 Aircraft are continuing at full speed. Within the scope of the project, engineering studies are carried out for the renovation and revision of 1200-1500 structural parts per aircraft, and necessary repair, replacement, and fuselage improvement activities are carried out. With the project carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries, we aim to increase the structural life of our F-16 aircraft, the main striking element of our air force, from 8000 hours to 12000 hours."

During the last 20 years, Turkey has undertaken various upgrade and modification projects for the F-16 fleet. The most important of these are the ÖZGÜR Program and the F-16 Block 30 Structural Upgrade Project that started in 2010 and 2015, respectively, and are still ongoing.

The F-16 Block 30 Structural Improvement Project was initiated with the contract signed between the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and the Main Contractor Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) on August 10, 2015, to increase the structural life of 35 F-16C/D Block 30 Aircraft in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours. Since more than 7,000 hours of flight were conducted with the F-16 Block 30 fleet in service as of 2016, they were worn out in terms of structural life. Lockheed Martin also took part as a subcontractor in the project, and the 1st Air Maintenance Factory Directorate (1st AMFD) was assigned for the modernization of 10 out of 35 aircraft. Initially, the structural improvement activities on the prototype aircraft were planned to be completed in 2017, using the structural reinforcement kits developed by Lockheed Martin. According to the information dated June 2017 on the SSB website, the modernization activities of the first aircraft were planned to be completed by the end of 2018, and the modernization of the final aircraft was expected to be completed in August 2023. With an announcement through its official social media account on July 25, 2020, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) announced that the first F-16 Block 30 Aircraft's structural improvements as part of the F-16 Structural Improvement Project were completed, and following the acceptance tests, the plane was delivered to the TurAF.