Update on TurAF F-16 Block 70 Procurement and Inside the F-16 Block 70/72 Fighting Falcon Cockpit Demonstrator

In order to meet Turkish Air Force (TurAF)’s interim fighter requirement until the first KAAN Turkish Fighter squadron becomes operational in the mid 2030’s on September 30, 2021 the Turkish Government submitted a Letter of Request (LoR) to the U.S. Government to procure 40 new-build F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and 79 upgrade kits for the modernization of 29 Block 50+ and 50 Block 40M aircraft to the F-16V level in the TurAF inventory. Negotiations with the U.S. delegation on modernization of the existing F-16C/D aircraft and procurement of new-build F-16 Block 70 aircraft started in December 2021 in Türkiye. Since then, several visits and bilateral meetings have been held on this issue both in Türkiye and in the U.S.

Date: Issue 127 - December 2023 Update: July 21, 2024

In February 2023, Secretary of State Antony BLINKEN publicly confirmed that the Biden Administration supports a possible sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Türkiye, and has engaged Congress on the issue. According to January 2023 media reports citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Administration informally notified Congress of its intent to sell 40 new-build F-16s in the Block 70/72 Viper configuration and Viper upgrade packages for 79 existing fighters, along with 900 air-to-air missiles and 800 bombs, at an estimated total value of US$20 billion. 

According to the Turkish MoND within the scope of F-16 Procurement a total of three meetings were held during December 2021, February 2022 and March 2022 and upon the formal invitation from the U.S., on August 15, 2023, a Turkish MoND Technical Delegation went to the U.S. to hold talks (4th round of meeting). Meanwhile, according to the MoND 2022 Corporate Financial Status and Expectations Report, which published in July 2022, the Letter of Request (LoR) for the procurement of 40 x new-build F-16 Block 70s and the Viper Modernization of 79 x F-16 Block-40/50+ aircraft and simulators in TurAF service was submitted to Office of Defense Cooperation Türkiye (ODC-T) on May 25, 2022. On November 1, 2023, the Turkish MoND disclosed that within the scope of F-16 Procurement technical talks between the U.S and Türkiye have been completed and they were awaiting the completion of the ongoing sales procedures in the U.S.