Project ÖZGÜR: Turkey starts modernizing its F-16 with indigenous technology

Gastón Dubois

F-16 ÖZGÜR Turquia

The ÖZGÜR project is a locally developed modernization package to be applied to the Turkish Air Force’s F-16 Block 30 fleet.

According to the SavunmaSanayiST site, following the successful testing of the F-16 prototype modernized with technology developed by the Turkish defense industry, the serial modernization phase of the fleet was launched.

The F-16 Block 30 fighter aircraft belonging to the Turkish Air Force, which have undergone structural modernization by TUSAŞ (which brought the flight hours of each airframe from 8,000 to 12,000), will also undergo avionics modernization. The first modernized aircraft within the scope of the F-16 ÖZGÜR Project is expected to be delivered to the Air Force this year.

Project ÖZGÜR

This modernization package, which consists of software and hardware designed and built in Turkey, will be applied to 35 F-16 Block 30 fighter aircraft.

The modernization includes the installation of a new mission computer, a system interface unit, new cockpit color displays, hydraulic fuel gauge, engine display screen, new national identification friend/foe system (IFF), new radar warning receivers, and an inertial navigation system.

As for targeting elements, the F-16s will receive a helmet mounted cueing system and an AESA radar, developed by Aselsan.


Developed in Turkey by Aselsan, this Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar uses the latest Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology, giving it better performance than most other AESA radars in operation.

Its development is nearing completion and will be installed on F-16 Block 30 and Akıncı high-performance UAS.

It is a multifunctional radar capable of simultaneous air-to-air, air-to-ground, air-to-sea missions and has electronic attack capabilities.

The F-16s reached by the ÖZGÜR project will also receive new Turkish-designed smart munitions of both air-to-air and air-to-surface types.

ÖZGÜR cockpit

Turkey owns 270 F-16C/Ds, but the ÖZGÜR modernization will only cover the Block 30 aircraft, as it has the source codes for these aircraft and was able to integrate national avionics and systems.

Regarding the rest of the F-16s, Ankara is negotiating with Washington the purchase of 80 Viper modernization packages, from Lockheed Martin, to upgrade its Block 50 aircraft and also wants to buy 40 new F-16 Block 70s.

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