F-16 Block 30 upgrades with new Turkish MGB mission computer

ANKARA, TURKIYE — The MGB is a mission computer that will be integrated into the F-16 Block 30. But only the F-16s of the Turkish Air Force will get it. This is because a program is currently underway to upgrade the Turkish F-16 Block 30 to the Block 70 level. Turkiye will receive the first upgraded F-16s this year, announced Professor Ismail Demir, President of the Defense Industry Agency [SSB].

F-16 Block 30 upgrades with new Turkish MGB mission computer
Photo credit: Turkish Air Force

The new mission computer expands the pilot’s capabilities. Through it, a single source will manage the avionics infrastructure of the Turkish F-16. The MGB is part of Ankara’s plan to make the Turkish armed forces more independent from foreign manufacturers and suppliers. Along with the mission computer, the Turkish F-16s will receive a new console with a multi-functional color screen.

Turkiye will upgrade not only the mission computer but also the “friend-foe” system. Turkish sources say the indigenous “friend-foe” system is the equivalent of NATO’s KY58 and KY100. The Turkish one is called IFF Mod 5/S and like the NATO systems, it provides encrypted communication and link.

The third critical component that will help upgrade the Turkish F-16s and be replaced is the radar. The obsolete Turkish F-16 Block 30 radars will receive a MURAD AESA radar. It is designed and manufactured by the Turkish company Aselsan. In Turkey, they say that MURAD has better detection and targeting than its American competitor APG-83.

It should be noted that not all Turkish F-16 Block 30s will receive are locally produced. Bosphorus media reports that a large part of what is needed must be delivered from the US. a total of 79 F-16 Block 30 fighters of the Turkish Air Force will be modernized under the Turkish Ozgur program.

Turkey has begun avionics modernization of 35 F-16 Block 30
Photo: AeroTimeHub

However, the Turkish Air Force fleet of F-16s will not be able to respond to future threats against the background of modern military operations. Therefore, Ankara hopes that Washington will sell 40 new F-16 Block 70/72.

The hopes are related to the year 2023. At the end of last year, important restrictions fell in American legislation concerning the sale of F-16s to Turkiye. On December 7, 2022, in the new version of the NDAA, which includes the United States defense budget for 2023, the articles designated by the House of Representatives to limit the purchase of F-16 by Turkiye were removed.

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