February 9, 2012 defpro.com
Turkey’s center of aerospace, Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), by competing with other F-16 manufacturing companies, has been selected as the contractor, in the tender of Pakistan Air Force F-16 Modernization (Peace Drive II) Program and signed a contract with Pakistan Ministry of Defense in June 2009.
Under the program, TAI’s engineers and technicians perform avionics and structural modernization of a total of 41 F-16 aircraft that are in the inventory of Pakistan Air Force (PAF). The test flights of each modernized aircraft are also performed by TAI’s F-16 Test Pilots.
The Peace Drive II program, which started in October 2010, is planned to be completed by September 2014.
The required parts, material and technical data are furnished to TAI in accordance with another contract between US Government and PAF.
Within the scope of the Peace Drive II Program, TAI also provides classroom and on-the-job training to 72 PAF technicians. Upon completion of their trainings, the technicians directly participate in the ongoing modernization activities at TAI.
Under the program, the first PAF F-16 aircraft, the modernization and flight tests of which have successfully been completed, was delivered to PAF at a ceremony held at TAI on 8 February 2012, with the attendance of Turkish Deputy Minister of Defense Mr. Hasan Kemal Yard?mc?, Pakistan Ambassador to Turkey HE Muhammad Shaukat Haroon, Pakistan Deputy Chief of Air Staff Air Mshl. Asim Suleiman, Turkish Armed Forces Foundation General Manager Mr. Hayrettin Uzun and Undersecretary for Defense Industries Mr. Murad Bayar as well as many military and civilian high level representatives.
TAI, which was established for co-production of F-16 aircraft for the Turkish Air Force in 1984, is one of the major aerospace companies in the world at F-16 manufacturing and modernization, with its experience, capabilities and manpower capacity. After manufacturing and delivering a total of 272 F-16s, TAI, which has successfully completed avionics and structural modernization of F-16s of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, currently modernizes 175 F-16s of the Turkish Air Force. With this experience and accumulated know how, TAI is ready to meet the modernization requirements of all countries with F-16s in their inventories.