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TAI will upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 MLU fighters with nighttime capabilities
May 29, 2017
Pakistan Air Force (PAF) F-16A Block-15 Mid-Life Update. Image credit: PAF Directorate of Media Relations

TAI will upgrade Pakistan’s F-16 MLU fighters with nighttime capabilities

The Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) fleet of 45 F-16A/B Block-15 Mid-Life Update (MLU)s will be upgraded by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) with improved nighttime capabilities, C4Defence reports.

As per C4Defence, TAI is “[optimizing] the aircraft’s cockpit for night flights.” Part of this program, TAI will install night-vision goggles. Thus far, two PAF F-16 Block-15s have been upgraded, with the work taking place in Shahbaz Air Base. In tandem with training, TAI will provide the PAF with 43 upgrade kits, enabling the PAF to carry out the upgrade in Pakistan.

Notes & Comments:

In May 2016, Pakistan and Turkey agreed to a USD $75 million contract to upgrade the PAF’s F-16s. Details regarding that upgrade were not provided at the time, but it is now evident that it was for optimizing the PAF’s F-16 MLUs for nighttime operations.

It is not clear if this is the same upgrade that was reported by Defense News, which stated that 74 fighters would be upgraded at a possible cost of USD $100 million. In August 2016, TAI’s CEO Muharram Dörtkaşlı noted that the PAF had “additional modernization requirements, especially from the structural upgrade perspective”, though he did not provide additional details. Considering the dearth of verified details, the night-vision upgrade was likely the centerpiece of the PAF F-16 upgrade program with TAI.

In June 2009, the PAF selected TAI to implement the MLU on 41 General Dynamics F-16A/B Block-15s. The upgrade began in Q4 2010 and involved the installation of the AN/APG-68(v9) radar, a new cockpit, the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), a new electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures system, and structural replenishment to guarantee that the F-16s safely reach their intended 8,000-hour service lives. The program was completed in September 2014.

TAI has been hoping to expand its business in Pakistan by securing a contract for its T-129 ATAK attack helicopter and, reportedly, its Hürkuş trainer and Anka unmanned aerial vehicle. In June 2016, TAI sent a T-129 to Pakistan for tests, which it claims were positive.

  • Shakeel

    Marvellous..Good to see a growing relationship with TAI.

    More good news from Turkey.Only today Zorlu Enerji has announced it’s intention to invest in Solar Power Plants at Bhawulpur. Lot’s of love from Pakistan.

    • Türker Demircan

      As per Bloomberg HT, it is under contract now…100 MW …It is really big (biggest in Turkey is only 25 MW)

  • Sami Shahid

    ok nice

  • fapple fapple

    Is it just me or is there something wrong with the text? For example, “Muharram DörtkaÅŸlı”. The latter part of his name is written in weird characters. Anyway, excellent article as always.

    • Abdul Rashid

      Not just you, same here on my Android mobile. Try accessing on another device. Fine on my laptop.

      Anyway, I notified Bilal earlier.

      • mazhar

        I am using a regular Win7 desktop and have same issue as you.Letters are garbled.

        • Abdul Rashid

          All appears fine on my bulky old laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium edition but not on my new mobile. These modern devices, eh? They just don’t make the like they used to and we are talking about upgrading our F-16 lol.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/50a486bfa18aadfa80093c61fe8a32702d0b13bc3b970233ebaafcd5375c2b27.jpg

          • mazhar

            LOL, old is gold. Our F86. RIP.

          • There’s an issue from mobile browsers, but it isn’t consistent. Looking into it

          • mazhar

            Please add Desktops and laptops too.

          • Superior Shakeel

            Windows 7 lol so 2000s use Linux man.

            Also the site works fine on my android phone and Mac I use chromium on both.

          • Abdul Rashid

            What is the make and model your Android mobile?

            As for me, yes I’m very old-fashioned. I’m actually nostalgic for the 80s. The Nazia Hassan years…. “Disco diwaane……….”

        • Irtiza

          the same issue on safari here

  • mazhar

    I am waiting for the announcment regarding PAF F-16s to be upgraded to “V” level. It will be expensive but it will be worth spending on such upgrade. I hope something is going on in the background to get approval from USA. Turkey is the best candidate to do this upgrade.

    • Shershahsuri

      If we dont get V-upgrade, then we have to wait till 2019-20 when Turkey’s Ozgur upgrade will be ready which will be analogous to V-upgrade.

      • MT

        You believe that Turks can make an aesa radar in 2yrs.
        Add half to 1decade in expected time estimate with Erdogan current fatal policy & abysmal human rights violations which ll lead to many sanction on Turkish companies

      • mazhar

        This sounds good too but I think we still need US approval for Ozgur upgrade?

  • ali amanat

    Same is happening here ” weird characters” I’m using Samsung tab 3 .

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