Islamabad: A Turkish firm on Friday delivered
the first batch of three F-16 combat jets to the Pakistan Air Force after a mid-life upgrade.
The F-16 Block 15 jets were earlier sent to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to be refurbished under a contract
signed in October 2010.
A total of 45 F-16s will undergo a mid-life upgrade.
The three jets were upgraded and delivered to Pakistan
"as per commitment", said a statement issued by the PAF.
Under the programme, TAI is modernising the avionics and
structure of F-16 jets that have been in service with the PAF
The project is planned to be completed by September 2014.
To commemorate the delivery of the first batch of
upgraded jets, a ceremony was held at PAF’s Shahbaz airbase at
Jacobabad in Sindh province.
Deputy Chief of Air Staff (Operations), Air Marshal
Waseemuddin, and other officials attended the event.
Earlier this month, the US delivered to Pakistan the last
of 18 new F-16 D Block 52 jets and two F-16 Block 15 jets that
had undergone a mid-life upgrade in the US.
The parts, materials and technical data required for the
mid-life upgrade of the F-16s are being provided to the
Turkish firm under another contract between the US
administration and the PAF. The Turkish firm is also providing
on-the-job training to PAF technicians.