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Mass production phase started in F-16 ÖZGÜR modernization

dBSPL

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SSB Aircraft Department Head Abdurrahman Şeref CAN announced that they have started serial modernization on other aircrafts within the scope of the F-16 ÖZGÜR Modernization Project, in his presantation at the 9th Air and Avionic Systems Seminar.

ozgur-f16-2.jpg


Chairman Can said, "The modernization of Özgür on the first aircraft has been completed. Serial modernization on other aircrafts has begun."

The F-16 ÖZGÜR Project, initiated by the Presidency of Defense Industries and carried out by TAI, aims to modernize the avionics of the F-16 Block 30 fighters in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force Command.

In the ÖZGÜR project, which includes the large scale of avionic modernization* of the F-16 Block 30 jets in the Turkish Air Force inventory, and also aimed cover MURAD AESA radar integration. *(National Mission Computer, System Interface Unit, Cockpit Front Control Panel, Fuel Hydraulic Gauge, Engine Indicator Screen, Emergency System, National Sound Safety Device, National Friend - Foe Identification (IFF) System, Multimode Receiver, Inertial Navigation System, Interface Blanking Unit, Center Cockpit Indicator, Color Multi-Function Display)

F-16-OZGUR_ara.jpg


Speaking within the scope of the Defense Technologies Days'21 event, organized by the Istanbul Technical University Defense Technologies Club (ITU SAVTEK) in 2021 and attended by the Defense Industry Presidency (SSB) and Turkish defense industry companies, Ahmet Akyol said that domestic AESA nose radar have better specs than the APG-83 radar F-16 b-70 Viper radar.

ASELSAN-AESA-Radar-2.jpg


Ahmet Akyol, Head of Electronic Warfare and Radar Systems Department of the Presidency of Defense Industries, announced that the MURAD Aircraft/UCAV AESA Radar has entered the integration and testing phase, in his presentation at the 10th Defense Industry Days organized by the Machine Technologies Club at Yıldız Technical University.

Within the scope of the same event, Muhammet Mustafa Akkul, ASELSAN Radar Systems Engineering Director, announced the schedule regarding the national AESA aircraft radar with the following words:

“It will be a very important technological leap for our aviation. We are also developing a radar capable of active electronic scanning for our own F16s. This of course has great advantages. Especially when you enter Air Combat, it has great advantages over radars with standard mechanical steerable antennas. We will use structures that use the building blocks of this radar, such as this radar and GaN, in both Aknca and the F-16. What we learn from here, of course, creates a wealth of knowledge while making the nose radar of the National Combat Aircraft. An important technological development for us. Inshallah, we will enter Akıncı towards the end of 2021, and we will start the integration studies with the F-16 in 2022. MMU is already targeted to 2026.”



Aircrafts that will enter the OZGUR modernization will be those that have already undergone Structural improvement and fuselage life extension modernization.

News from January 2021 on the structural improvement program schedule:

6016d739574dd.jpg


Structural improvements of F-16 Block-30 Aircraft are continuing at full speed. Since more than 7,000 hours of flight were conducted with the F-16 Block 30 fleet in service as of 2016, a structural upgrade is required to increase the service life of these aircraft. The service life of F-16 Block 30 aircraft will be extended from 8.000 hours to 12000 hours.​

January 31, 2021

In a statement made on his official social media account, President of Defence Industries Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir said, "Structural upgrades of F-16 Block-30 Aircraft are continuing at full speed. Within the scope of the project, engineering studies are carried out for the renovation and revision of 1200-1500 structural parts per aircraft, and necessary repair, replacement, and fuselage improvement activities are carried out. With the project carried out by Turkish Aerospace Industries, we aim to increase the structural life of our F-16 aircraft, the main striking element of our air force, from 8000 hours to 12000 hours."

During the last 20 years, Turkey has undertaken various upgrade and modification projects for the F-16 fleet. The most important of these are the ÖZGÜR Program and the F-16 Block 30 Structural Upgrade Project that started in 2010 and 2015, respectively, and are still ongoing.

The F-16 Block 30 Structural Improvement Project was initiated with the contract signed between the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and the Main Contractor Turkish Aerospace (TUSAŞ) on August 10, 2015, to increase the structural life of 35 F-16C/D Block 30 Aircraft in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours. Since more than 7,000 hours of flight were conducted with the F-16 Block 30 fleet in service as of 2016, they were worn out in terms of structural life. Lockheed Martin also took part as a subcontractor in the project, and the 1st Air Maintenance Factory Directorate (1st AMFD) was assigned for the modernization of 10 out of 35 aircraft. Initially, the structural improvement activities on the prototype aircraft were planned to be completed in 2017, using the structural reinforcement kits developed by Lockheed Martin.

According to the information dated June 2017 on the SSB website, the modernization activities of the first aircraft were planned to be completed by the end of 2018, and the modernization of the final aircraft was expected to be completed in August 2023. With an announcement through its official social media account on July 25, 2020, the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) announced that the first F-16 Block 30 Aircraft's structural improvements as part of the F-16 Structural Improvement Project were completed, and following the acceptance tests, the plane was delivered to the TurAF.

 
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Foinikas

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Ahmet Akyol said that domestic AESA nose radar have better specs than the APG-83 radar F-16 b-70 Viper radar.
Then why do you keep asking for F-16Vs when you can supposedly upgrade your F-16s on your own and with better equipment?
 

SQ8

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Then why do you keep asking for F-16Vs when you can supposedly upgrade your F-16s on your own and with better equipment?
My guess is the same reason the Chinese bought the Su-35 even when the later J-11 variety are superior in most respects barring supermaneuverability.

Also, the Turks can upgrade the F-16 but cannot manufacture it
 

WaqarAhmed161247

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My guess is the same reason the Chinese bought the Su-35 even when the later J-11 variety are superior in most respects barring supermaneuverability.

Also, the Turks can upgrade the F-16 but cannot manufacture it
With turkish help and with our own efforts can pakistan upgrade its aging fleet of vipers???
 

altafahmed

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Then why do you keep asking for F-16Vs when you can supposedly upgrade your F-16s on your own and with better equipment?
Turkey only has access to the source code of F-16 block 30 and Turkey has only 35 aircraft of this type, they can not modify F-16 block 50. So effectively this ÖZGÜR modernization can only be done to 35 f-16s
 

FuturePAF

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Turkey only has access to the source code of F-16 block 30 and Turkey has only 35 aircraft of this type, they can not modify F-16 block 50. So effectively this ÖZGÜR modernization can only be done to 35 f-16s
How about the non-block 52 aircraft in the PAF inventory?; there are a lot more of those airframes then Block 52 airframes.

Ask only about if it’s technically possible, because we all know the real issue is political.
 

Princeps Senatus

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Then why do you keep asking for F-16Vs when you can supposedly upgrade your F-16s on your own and with better equipment?
They can only upgrade the Block 30s not the Block 50s. That is why they ask for the V upgrade for their Block 50s. Anyways there is no comparison between new Block 70/72s and these upgraded block 30s.

Hopefully our Block 15 MLUs are next :D
 

Oublious

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Not only block 30, we have 230 fighters we want to buy 40 Vipers and 80 upgrade packs. I think block 50 and 50+ will get Viper upgrade. Block 40 and below will get Ozgur. So 150 fighters will get Ozgur upgrade, not only block30. Other way it is to expensive to upgrade only 30 fighters.

I think we will not get Vipers, it looks like we are going for Eurofighters. 40 more Vipers will be blocked by senators. Behind backdoors we are talking with UK about EF.
 

dBSPL

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Not only block 30, we have 230 fighters we want to buy 40 Vipers and 80 upgrade packs. I think block 50 and 50+ will get Viper upgrade. Block 40 and below will get Ozgur. So 150 fighters will get Ozgur upgrade, not only block30. Other way it is to expensive to upgrade only 30 fighters.

I think we will not get Vipers, it looks like we are going for Eurofighters. 40 more Vipers will be blocked by senators. Behind backdoors we are talking with UK about EF.
Although the EF consortium offered Turkiye full partnership and the position of the 5th fully authorized partner country, these offers were turned down due to the conditions that existed at that time. It was a comprehensive offer, from full access to all Eurofighter's Source Codes to localization of all maintenance processes. Maybe some of us remember, this was the main topic of IDEF-2005. In the same period, many journalists from Turkiye were hosted in Alenia, the Italian partner of the Eurofighter consortium.

Turkiye had decided to continue on its way with JSF. However, the developments experienced in the intervening 15-20 years, while ironically eliminating the F-35 procurement plan, have brought the EF discussions to Turkiye again. lol

Frankly, I'm not sure what will come out of these talks. After the acquisition of these aircraft, in how many years can operational competence be achieved, these are very detailed discussions on which aviation experts can write a lot. However, it is a fact that the current capabilities of Tranche-1s and to what extent they can be expanded have certainly been evaluated by TAF. I have a proof:

I wrote something like this in another corner of the forum about Tranche-1s:
The UK has around 30 'active' Tranche 1s which their useful airframe life have not yet been halved. Around 15 aircraft are also kept as spare parts. These planes would initially go out of service in 2019. Then it was delayed to 2025. And if I'm not mistaken, I've read a few other articles about the extension to around 2030. These planes have been a headache for the Royal air force in recent years. At first it was announced that these planes could not be upgraded to T2/T3, but later it turned out that this was not true, but still the problem was quite complex. Maintenance logistics, software problems and some specific design limits are known to exist.

If Britain wants to get rid of these planes it can give it to Turkey free of charge (by opening the mission computer and some other avionics to the Turks). As a result, these aircraft will be logistically dependent on the British aviation industry for at least another 15 years. Of course, in addition to the transfer of ready T1s, a purchase agreement can be made for example 2 fleet tranche4s.

This is hypothetical, but cant say it is improbable. Because most of the companies in the MMU project could be among the suppliers of the Team Tempest project. Likewise, the contribution of British and Italian companies to the MMU project is obvious.

The limitations of these aircraft, especially in terms of avionics and ammunition capabilities, were discussed in detail by many well-known figures in Turkish defense circles. Enhanced Operational Capability has been started since Block-10(Tranche-2), and Block-5 jets can't even use AIM-120C as far as I know, moreover, they lack many critical systems such as DAS, IFF-Mode-5 due to old gen hardware standards.

Upgrading these jets to T3 or FGR4 configurations involves serious costs and difficulties; and most importantly, TIME! If the UK provides these aircraft as a grant, Turkiye may bear this cost. Because of the UK aviation industry will continue to generate income from these aircraft for 20 more years. Or maybe with limited modernization and mission computer access, an alternative CAP fighter solution can be created that will use Turkish A-A missiles, I dunno.

While TAF needs a stop-gap, not a final solution: In a situation where temporality is main factor, how long can it take to complete such a transfer, modernization planning, all of which are impasse questions. Moreover, TAF's preparation for the appropriate infrastructure, training, documentation and establishment of maintenance lines each have to be set up as if it were a platform acquisition from scratch.

However, there is another possibility, may be possible for Turkiye to acquire latest block EFs within a year or two. We may see a formula such as the transfer of 1 fleet second hand aircraft, the transfer of 1 fleet currently on production/tests on behalf of X country, and 2 fleets of aircraft that will enter production line on behalf of Turkiye as of 2025-27 for example. And of course the UK is not the only contact for new production EF-s. While Turkiye's relations with Italy and the UK have gained momentum in recent years, there are many disagreements with Germany on the other hand. As a final example, they completely sabotaged the Altay project.

Long story short, the best option we have is still to deepen the OZGUR program, includes to integrate Aselsan's GaN-based AESA nose radar, national mission computer and national weaponary.

In fact, SSB has been preparing for this for about 10 years, and as you know better than me, we have completed the infrastructure to produce the Block-70 equivalent modernization kits entirely domestically, if necessary. However, regarding the coverage of later steps of OZGUR modernization, our insistence on NOT acting without violating license agreements also imposes this process should be run together with the USA.

*


For Turkish defense-aerospace enthusiasts waiting for the MMU, this meme might be quite appropriate
2f80786a6eeba7a47fef2955f97bb4bb.jpg

(It also applies to the story that starts with Patriot and ends with SIPER)
 
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Oublious

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Although the EF consortium offered Turkiye full partnership and the position of the 5th fully authorized partner country, these offers were turned down due to the conditions that existed at that time. It was a comprehensive offer, from full access to all Eurofighter's Source Codes to localization of all maintenance processes. Maybe some of us remember, this was the main topic of IDEF-2005. In the same period, many journalists from Turkiye were hosted in Alenia, the Italian partner of the Eurofighter consortium.

Turkiye had decided to continue on its way with JSF. However, the developments experienced in the intervening 15-20 years, while ironically eliminating the F-35 procurement plan, have brought the EF discussions to Turkiye again. lol

Frankly, I'm not sure what will come out of these talks. After the acquisition of these aircraft, in how many years can operational competence be achieved, these are very detailed discussions on which aviation experts can write a lot. However, it is a fact that the current capabilities of Tranche-1s and to what extent they can be expanded have certainly been evaluated by TAF. I have a proof:

I wrote something like this in another corner of the forum about Tranche-1s:


The limitations of these aircraft, especially in terms of avionics and ammunition capabilities, were discussed in detail by many well-known figures in Turkish defense circles. Enhanced Operational Capability has been started since Block-10(Tranche-2), and Block-5 jets can't even use AIM-120C as far as I know, moreover, they lack many critical systems such as DAS, IFF-Mode-5 due to old gen hardware standards.

Upgrading these jets to T3 or FGR4 configurations involves serious costs and difficulties; and most importantly, TIME! If the UK provides these aircraft as a grant, Turkiye may bear this cost. Because of the UK aviation industry will continue to generate income from these aircraft for 20 more years. Or maybe with limited modernization and mission computer access, an alternative CAP fighter solution can be created that will use Turkish A-A missiles, I dunno.

While TAF needs a stop-gap, not a final solution: In a situation where temporality is main factor, how long can it take to complete such a transfer, modernization planning, all of which are impasse questions. Moreover, TAF's preparation for the appropriate infrastructure, training, documentation and establishment of maintenance lines each have to be set up as if it were a platform acquisition from scratch.

However, there is another possibility, may be possible for Turkiye to acquire latest block EFs within a year or two. We may see a formula such as the transfer of 1 fleet second hand aircraft, the transfer of 1 fleet currently on production/tests on behalf of X country, and 2 fleets of aircraft that will enter production line on behalf of Turkiye as of 2025-27 for example. And of course the UK is not the only contact for new production EF-s. While Turkiye's relations with Italy and the UK have gained momentum in recent years, there are many disagreements with Germany on the other hand. As a final example, they completely sabotaged the Altay project.

Long story short, the best option we have is still to deepen the OZGUR program, includes to integrate Aselsan's GaN-based AESA nose radar, national mission computer and national weaponary.

In fact, SSB has been preparing for this for about 10 years, and as you know better than me, we have completed the infrastructure to produce the Block-70 equivalent modernization kits entirely domestically, if necessary. However, regarding the coverage of later steps of OZGUR modernization, our insistence on NOT acting without violating license agreements also imposes this process should be run together with the USA.

*


For Turkish defense-aerospace enthusiasts waiting for the MMU, this meme might be quite appropriate
2f80786a6eeba7a47fef2955f97bb4bb.jpg

(It also applies to the story that starts with Patriot and ends with SIPER)


The main problem is we don't have the time, untill MMU is full operational we are talking about 2035+. Our aging f-4 need to be replaced ASAP. Extra fighters against Greece is not bad at all. These T1 fighters should be upgraded something like the Ozgur :p: .
 

dBSPL

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For those wondering if there is a plan for further blocks: The head of the defense industry, Demir, stated that they are currently ready to carry out a B-70 equivalent modernization program for another blocks. You can find detailed information about this in the forum archive. However, since both the urgency of the need and want to avoid the violation of existing license agreements, this process is desired to be carried out together with the USA. If the USA does not act in alliance spitirit(as like blocking patriot sales), the step to be taken is obvious.

Presidency of Defense Industries also carries out various modernization projects for F-16 Block 40 and Block 50 jets. Actually, Özgür project and block-30s act as a test bed for integration activities. The avionics and surfaces in Özgür Block-30s are components developed approximately 10-12 years ago. Aselsan's AESA radar is not a project within the scope of the Özgür program, but its integration is targeted within the scope of B30 modernization.

Also, the integration of GaN-based AESA radar is not the only target. In addition to the EHPOD(EW)/EDPOD(ES) integration, it is aimed to use the entire national mmunition groups, especially the AAM missile family (Bozdoğan/Gökdoğan/Gökhan), in these aircrafts.

F-16 Block-30s are currently TAF's most agile aircraft, and their fuselage life has been increased to 12,000 hours as part of the nearly two-year structural strengthening program.

And in parallel with Ozgur project developments, TAF has the authority to access and modify the source codes of Block-30 jets, and the mission computer fully customized. This will provide the opportunity to raise these aircraft to the level of up-to-date fighters with over national systems. They will use the weaponary that only TAF has; they will use the electronic-support, electronic warfare systems and radars that only TAF has specs and profiles.

All of this should tell you why the name of the program is Özgür(liberty) and what it means for Turkish aviation, and how far its scope will expand in the medium term. The Özgür project is basically the preparation for a breakthrough, or in other words, the first big concrete step.
 
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altafahmed

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How about the non-block 52 aircraft in the PAF inventory?; there are a lot more of those airframes then Block 52 airframes.

Ask only about if it’s technically possible, because we all know the real issue is political.
Turkey has carried out the MLU of these aircraft in the past and they can upgrade them to the ÖZGÜR level too if there is no political barrier (which is there)
 

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