Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) delivered the first of 52 upgraded McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom fighter bombers to the Turkish air force on 1 March.

The aircraft is one of two prototypes being used to integrate new avionics systems; the second prototype is due to be completed soon.

The upgraded Phantom has an Elta radar and active electronic warfare systems, plus other Israeli-manufactured avionics. IAI's Lahav facility will upgrade 26 Turkish F-4s in the $632 million programme, with the rest upgraded in Turkey under Israeli supervision.

Last September, IAI and Elbit were selected to upgrade the Turkish air force's fleet of Northrop F-5 fighters with new avionics. IAI has also upgraded F-4s to Phantom 2000 standard for the Israeli air force.

Source: Flight International