Turkey delivers modernized F-16 jets to Pakistan
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
File photo shows Turkish fighter jets participating in Anatolian Eagle Exercise in 2011. Hürriyet photo
Turkish Aerospace Industries Inc. (TUSAŞ) delivered three modernized F-16 warplanes to Pakistan yesterday.
The aircraft, which belonged to Pakistani Air Forces, were modernized in Turkey, and delivered to Pakistan with a ceremony.
Turkish Defense Industry Undersecretary Murad Bayar said that Turkey and Pakistan have been successfully cooperating in tactical, radio and electronic aspects of warfare as well as creating a training test center and various military information systems.
Pakistani Deputy Commander of Air Forces Gen. Asim Suleiman said that Pakistan's air defense became more powerful with the aircraft which were modernized in structural and avionic aspects.
Pakistani Ambassador to Turkey Muhammad Shaukat Haroon said that the project was a sign of friendship and unity of powers between Turkey and Pakistan.
The test flights of each modernized aircraft are performed by TUSAŞ's F-16 test pilots.
TUSAŞ was awarded the tender of Pakistani Air Forces F-16 modernization program (Peace Drive II) and signed an agreement with Pakistani defense ministry in June 2009.
Under the program, TUSAŞ's engineers and technicians are to perform avionics and structural modernization of a total of 41 F-16 warplanes from Pakistan.
The Peace Drive II program, which started in October 2010, is set to be completed by September 2014. The required parts, material and technical data are furnished to TUSAŞ in accordance with another contract between the U.S. and the Pakistani Air Forces.
Within the Peace Drive II Program, TUSAŞ provides classroom and on-the-job training for 72 technicians from the Pakistani air forces. Upon completion of their training, the technicians directly participate in the ongoing modernization activities at TUSAŞ.