World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish Aerospace Industries has delivered the last four upgraded F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan as part of "the Peace Drive" program between Turkey and Pakistan's Ministry of Defense.
The remaining four out of 41 aircraft were handed over in a ceremony in Ankara on Tuesday.
The company, known by the acronym TUSAS, signed a contract to upgrade and test aircraft with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense in 2009. Under the program, Turkish technicians were to upgrade and test 41 aircraft and the first of the planes was delivered two years ago.
The second edition of the Peace Drive program, which started in October 2010, was due completion by September 2014. The required parts, materials and technical data was given to TUSAS as part of another contract between the U.S. government and the Pakistani Air Force.
TUSAS's chairman Yalcın Kaya said that "the upgraded F-16s would certainly and proudly increase Pakistan Air Force's reliability and functionality."
"This program is not just a project about the collaboration and a long-lasting brotherhood between the two countries. It also comprises of efforts in the detailed planning and accurate technical works resulting in the top quality proven outcome at the end," Kaya said.
Pakistan Air Marshall Sohail Aman said both Pakistan and Turkey need to work with more collaboration and coherence in future.
"The future of the three countries (US, Turkey, Pakistan) is together since the objective of all three countries is to generate global peace and make the world safer," he said.
Yilmaz Guldogan, a defense expert, said this program shows Turkey's and the Aerospace Industry's achievement in international aerospace technology and defense.
"TUSAS is one of the leading companies worldwide in aircraft modernization. It is expected that more international demands will be received for the company's services," Yilmaz said.
TUSAS began co-producing U.S.-designed F-16s for the Turkish Air Force in 1984 and is one of the world’s main aerospace companies involved in the manufacture and modernization of the fighter jets. It has also upgraded the Royal Jordanian Air Forces' F-16s.Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2014, 13:16