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Turkey will upgrade Pakistan’s F-16s

Turkey recently agreed to upgrade a number of the Pakistan Air Force’s F-16s for $75 million U.S. The deal was announced by a senior official belonging to the Deik Foreign Economic Relations Board, an Istanbul-based organization.

Comment and Analysis

The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) may be in the process of upgrading its 13 F-16A/B Block-15ADF (short for Air Defence Fighter), which were acquired second-hand from Jordan in 2014.

Although capable of launching the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), the F-16 ADFs were behind the PAF’s other F-16A/Bs – these had gone through the Mid-Life Update (MLU), which equipped them with the same radar and avionics as the PAF’s newer F-16C/D Block-52+.

Seeing the Turkish defence industry contracted to the task is not surprising. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and Aselsan were responsible for the MLU, which was done on over 40 legacy PAF F-16s. That said, it is unclear if the upgrade is in fact for the F-16 ADFs. The value of the contract – $75 million U.S. – is on the low side, even for the MLU. In 2006-2007 the MLU cost the PAF around $20-25 million a unit. This is either a deposit or initial payment, or is a comparatively minor upgrade (such as airframe restoration).

In any case, putting the F-16 ADFs through the MLU would be a welcome move. While not a qualitative driver, it would at least standardize the entirety of the PAF’s fleet along the same baseline in terms of radars, avionics, and weapons.

With Pakistan’s fiscal position precarious, the sight of used F-16s may be more commonplace in the PAF in the coming years. The value proposition of used F-16s in the context of the PAF was discussed on Quwa in January. The PAF has the infrastructure to add Block-15 and Block-32/42/52, and there are many used airframes in use and potentially available on the market. If the PAF was to go this route, one could expect TAI and Aselsan to be at the front of structurally restoring and upgrading the PAF’s ‘new’ F-16s.

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  • by WARRIOR
    Posted May 17, 2016 1:08 am 0Likes

    We r buying old f16 from different countries now?
    How much we paid for these jets to Jordan?
    And please tell us the actual fleet size of paf f16 after buying these old jets

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted May 17, 2016 1:17 am 0Likes

    The Jordanian F-16s were bought and delivered in 2014. We have a total of 76 F-16s.

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted May 17, 2016 1:17 am 0Likes

    moderation rules are now in effect. *All* off-topic posts, insults, etc, will *not* be approved. Ensure that your comments are (1) constructive, (2) professional, and (3) on-topic. Threads will automatically be closed after 48 hours of posting.

  • by Ashi Sidhu
    Posted May 17, 2016 1:57 am 0Likes

    Is there a possibility that it is a AESA radar upgrade.certainly now there are much more modern F-16s than block 52

    Posted May 17, 2016 3:01 am 0Likes

    What happened to J10 deal

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted May 17, 2016 4:26 am 0Likes

    No possibility of that.

  • by bla bla
    Posted May 17, 2016 5:42 am 0Likes

    @jigsaww @saqrkh:disqus
    Something on Hypersonic Glide vehicles (HGV) DF-ZF or YU -71 I want to know about them What type of a threat they can pose to a conventional Ballistic missile shield ?

  • by Abdullah Aman
    Posted May 17, 2016 7:10 am 0Likes

    i think there will be no more F-16 for PAF now and i think J-10b are coming in PAF in near future

  • by Abdullah Aman
    Posted May 17, 2016 7:41 am 0Likes

    it didn’t happened before because of the IMF they said they will stop loaning the money but now pakistan have little less debt and economy is bit stable and have no choice to look for other planes J-10B might be in future

  • by Abdul Rashid
    Posted May 17, 2016 6:25 pm 0Likes

    There has not been a strong case put forward for the J10B by many of the guys on this site. Do you not think a sufficiently upgraded JF-17 III will be a more cost-effective and capable enough platform to make up for no more F16s?

    Besides, not going for the J10B will spare PAF initial and additional on-going training and maintenance costs, as well as limiting the number of different platform types. These are some of the arguments floated around here against the case for pursuing the J10B. Your ideas on this?

  • by jigsaww
    Posted May 18, 2016 2:03 am 0Likes


    In short, the threat posed by HGVs is their sheer speed and maneuverability to break through current BMD covers which can track trajectories only up to certain speeds. I think the chinese DF-ZF travels up tp 11,000 Km/hr. This gives the possessor capability to not only break thru the defence shields with high surety, but also exercise immediate strike or PGS (prompt global strike) within hours globally. If you remember or have seen the the movie GI Joe retaliation, a concept of PGS was shown by deploying tungsten rods for conventional impact of bigger magnitude than an N strike without the ill effects of radiation but massive destruction. There’s different ways to deploy it, one is to use ballistic missiles.

    We are on verge of seeing their deployment and obsolesce of traditional BMD shields.

  • by bla bla
    Posted May 18, 2016 12:45 pm 0Likes

    your saying THAAD is vulnerable ?

  • by Abdullah Aman
    Posted May 18, 2016 10:36 pm 0Likes

    JF-17 block 3 will be cost-effective but it still be a light fighter with load limit from 5500KG to 4500KG PAF need a bigger fighter F-16 and J-10B are medium weight fighters with 9000KG load limit with out spare parts and new upgrades in weapon system F-16 will lose we are not getting new weapon for F-16 even in deal with USA and also you can not get old F-16 and upgrade them because you will run out of spare parts on that point J-10B is better option as for J-31 it will not be ready till 2022

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