Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) has won a $75 million contract to modernise 42 Pakistani Lockheed Martin F-16A/Bs at its facilities near Ankara.
The company plans to begin the upgrades in October 2010 and complete the work 46 months later. It signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan in September 2006, but it has taken almost three years to sign the deal as Islamabad had to negotiate the sale of the upgrade kits and associated packages from the USA first. TAI won contracts to upgrade older Turkish and Jordanian F-16s in recent years.
The upgrade programme is part of a $5.1 billion arms package that the USA gave Pakistan to help it modernise its air force. Islamabad is also buying 18 new F-16C/D Block 52 aircraft powered by the Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engines and additional refurbished F-16s from Lockheed as part of the deal.
Pakistan bought the F-16A/B Mid-Life Update modification kits and Falcon Star Structural Service Life Enhancement kits to upgrade its older F-16s closer to the Block 50 standard.
The US state department said in 2008 that the package included advanced avionics and radar upgrades, new communications and targeting systems, and additional weapons systems that would boost Pakistan's ability to conduct close-air support and night precision attack missions.
Northrop Grumman won a contract to produce 54 APG-68(V)9 radars for the new, refurbished and upgraded F-16s. Pakistan has also bought upgrade packages that include conformal fuel tanks, helmet-mounted cueing systems, Link 16 datalinks and electronic-warfare equipment. Associated weapons deals include 500 Raytheon AIM-120C5 AMRAAM and 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder air-to-air missiles and 2,100 precision-guided bombs.