Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) and Lockheed Martin unveiled the last Turkish-built F-16 at a ceremony held at TAI’s facilities in Ankara.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Undersecretary of Turkish Defense Industries Mr. Serdar Demirel and high level executives from the Undersecretriat for Defence Industries (SSM), Turkish Air Force (TurAF), Lockheed Martin and TAI.
The program, which started with the speech of TAI’s Executive Vice President of Aircraft Mr. Özcan Ertem, continued with Lockheed Martin’s Vice President and General Manager of F-16 / F-22 Integrated Fighter Group Mr. Jeff Babione and SSM’s Deputy Undersecretary for Platform Projects Mr. Serdar Demirel’s speeches.
During the ceremony, TAI’s Chairman of the Board, Yalçın Kaya presented plaques to the representatives of the parties who have contributed to the program.
The F-16 program has provided extensive industrial development and employment in Turkey over the past 25 years. The Turkish Air Force will be receiving 30 new, advanced Block 50 models between May 2011 and December 2012.
The F-16 is the choice of 25 nations. More than 4,400 aircraft have been delivered worldwide from assembly lines in five countries. The F-16 program has been characterized by unprecedented international cooperation among governments, air forces and aerospace industries. Major upgrades to all F-16 versions are being incorporated to keep the fleet modern and fully supportable over the aircraft’s long service life.
Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) is the center of technology in design, development, manufacturing, integration of aerospace systems, modernization and after sales support in Turkey. Located in Ankara, Turkey, TAI’s modern aircraft facilities are furnished with high technology machinery and equipment that provide extensive manufacturing capabilities. TAI has a total of 4200 highly motivated employees, 1500 of whom are engineers.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.