Turkey is to equip its McDonnell Douglas RF-4E reconnaissance fighters with Elop's long-range oblique photography system (LOROPS).

The deal is worth $50 million to the Israeli company which beat a competing bid from Lockheed Martin Fairchild Systems.

The LOROPS consists of a camera system - including a charge-coupled device camera, a video-processing unit and a scanning mirror - and support systems such as a datalink, digital video recorder, environmental control system, power supply and the reconnaissance management unit are all housed in a 1,140litre (300USgal) drop tank. Elop says the pod can also be carried on the Turkish air force's Lockheed Martin F-16s.

The pod has day and night capabilities which can be used during a single mission. Elop refuses to reveal the system's precise specification, but reveals that its "excellent scanning capability" is achieved by using techniques developed for the company's satellite payloads. Such a payload is operating on Israel's first intelligence satellite, the Offeq-3.

• Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) is to hand over the first two upgraded McDonnell Douglas F-4Phantoms to the Turkish air force at a ceremony planned for 27 January in Turkey. The two F-4Es are the first of 26 fighters to be upgraded by IAI. Another 28 will be upgraded by the Turkish air force using IAI-supplied kits. IAI programme manager David Erez says it is planned to deliver an upgraded F-4 every month.

The Turkish F-4 upgrade programme began in January 1997. One prototype was used in designing the upgrade package and will be used now as an engineering back-up.

Source: Flight International