Aydin Hassan – The Air Force has 48 Phantoms (F-4 2020) and 244 F-16s at Block 30, Block 40 and Block levels in its inventory.
If the United States approves the sale of 40 F-16 aircraft and 79 Block 70 upgrade kits, the number of Block 70 aircraft will be 119.
However, even if 40 aircraft are allowed to be sold, there is a possibility that it will take longer for these US-made aircraft to arrive in Turkey and be put into inventory. The 165 F-16 aircraft, for which the national modernization process has begun, will be gradually converted into warplanes equipped with national software by 2030. With the modernization, the structural life of the aircraft will be extended until 2040.
He will defend his throne
Turkey’s choice to add 40 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to its inventory will not affect the success of the F-16. By selecting the Eurofighter Typhoon, the aim was to fill the security vulnerability that might arise from Greece’s possession of F-35 and Rafale aircraft. Eurofighter Typhoon is capable of launching the Meteor missile – beyond visible air missiles. He announced that the Meteor missile used by Greece on Rafale aircraft has a range of 200 kilometers. Türkiye lags behind this range in terms of the capability of its F-16 fleet. The Turkish Air Force plans to balance the strength gained by Greece in air-to-air combat scenarios by possessing the Meteor missile and the aircraft that launch it in the coming period. The Gökhan missile, whose project is still ongoing and is intended to be equivalent to the Meteor, can be launched from modern F-16 aircraft. However, since it would take about 8 years for the national CAN aircraft and missiles to enter the inventory, the Turkish Armed Forces chose to fill this gap with the European-made warplane and long-range air-to-air missiles. Eurofighter Typhoon; 4.5 generation fighter aircraft such as the F-16 Block 70 and the French-made Rafale.
President Erdogan said: “Germany may or may not surrender in the Eurofighter issue. Is Germany the only country that produces warplanes in the world? We work and supply them from many places.” While European aircraft are at the forefront for Turkey because of their compatibility with NATO system, if not, there is a wide range of options. In the world, among the fourth generation warplanes: French-made Rafale 2000; British/Italian/German co-production Eurofighter; Swedish-made Saab JAS 39; there are Soviet-made aircraft. Su-33/34 and Su-35. The F-16, Mig 29 and 31 series aircraft can be upgraded to become fourth generation fighter aircraft.
When the US-made F-22 and F-35 are left aside among the fifth generation aircraft, the Russian-made Su 57 and the Chinese-made J-20 and J-31 remain. The United States does not sell fifth-generation F-22 aircraft to another country due to its national security policy. Türkiye has been removed from the F-35 program. The Kan aircraft, which Turkey put on the runway and is expected to enter inventory by 2030, is a fifth-generation warplane.
(Tags for translation)F-16