ISRAEL AND TURKEY have finally signed a framework agreement covering a $600 million upgrade programme for the latter's McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantoms.

The upgrade programme will be led by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and covers the upgrade of 54 Turkish air force F-4s. The agreement was signed in late August after more than five years of negotiations.

The Israeli Government and some Israeli banks are now forming a financial package, which will allow the parties to sign the detailed contract.

The Turkish Government has asked Israel to assist in funding the $600 million programme. The Israeli Treasury is leading the effort to provide the needed financial aid for the upgrade. "This is a very important contract to many of the Israeli defence industries," says a senior Government official.

Source: Flight International