Turkey's F-16 'Project Liberty' (Özgür) modernisation


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15 July 2020
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In an exclusive interview the President of SSB Prof. Dr. Ismail Demir spoke to defensehere.com about "Project Liberty (Özgür)".


Touching on the needs of the Turkish Air Force for aircrafts, Demir said the following:

"Liberty is a project carried out independently of the USA. So, if we were to be specific it is not exactly an agreement, but the outcome of Liberty has been successful so far and began to be integrated into our aircrafts. The systems are being integrated into the F-16s in blocks. Right now, we began the process of integrating a block into an F-16. In terms of the other blocks; there are slight differences in their development process, once finished, the process for their integration will also begin.

Project Liberty is as its name implies; it aims to liberate our F-16 aircrafts. Getting the F-16s to be independent means adapting them to domestic systems, implementing these systems into them and using them accordingly. In a sense we can say that this is a step towards turning the aircraft into your own property and your own system.

The modernization of the F-16s that we are talking about has already been a systematic modernization. Whether it is structural or avionics, there are things to be done at certain stages throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft. A part of that modernization is extending the life of the aircraft if needed. The other thing is that we are not expecting any problems in regard to Project Liberty. Liberty is a talent acquisition project and we believe that this talents acquisition can contribute a lot to the National Combat Aircraft.

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Compact, platform-specific configurable and user-friendly design, EID unit; It meets user needs and platform requirements for displaying engine parameters, which are critical platform data. With its redundant and reliable design, it will make pilots feel safe even in difficult flight conditions.

Compact, platform-specific configurable and user-friendly design FHD unit; It meets user needs and platform requirements by providing an indication of the tank fuel amount, hydraulic pressure and fuel balance status, which are critical platform data, to the pilot. With its redundant and reliable design, it will make pilots feel safe even in difficult flight conditions.


Inertial Navigation System - INS; These are the systems that can produce navigation information and navigation performance information on their own. These systems operate by expressing the response of the gyroscope and accelerometers to the movement with numerical values. Since there is no signal received from any ground station, it is closed to signal mixing sabotage. INS does not need continuous data retrieval after entering the required initial values.


The system interface unit reads many analog system parameters, converts them to numbers and makes them available to pilots. It produces analog driving signals in accordance with the commands of mission equipment. SIU meets all the tough environmental requirements of the combat aerial platform thanks to its reliable and robust design

• Internally Redundant
• Analog Interface with Aircraft Systems
• Digital Interface with Mission Systems



National Mission Computer (MCS) is a new generation mission computer that provides the management of integrated avionics systems from a single center and supports the pilot with improved processing and graphics capabilities during the mission. By using two MCS, double redundant tactical mission management architecture can be created.

• Avionic System Management
• Platform Interface Management
• Operator Interface Management
• Symbology Production and Multifunction Display Management
• Head Up Display Management
• Communication and Identification Management
• Navigation Management
• Tactical Reconnaissance Management
• Emergency Mode and Reset Management
• Task Planning, Task and Test Data Upload / Download Management
• Synthetic Image Creation (3D Terrain) and Digital Sliding Map Management

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The System will be able to transmit IFF information to radars as Long Range Interrogator. By bringing NATO STANAG compatible IFF Mod 5 / S Systems to its product family.

-GAN based
-1000+ T/R modules


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F-16 Block 30 which will receive 'Project Liberty' modernisation are having airframe life extensions, life extensions were done domestically without Lockheed Martin. Turkey has around 40 Block 30s.

“In the project, where engineering works are carried out for the renovation and revision of 1,200 to 1,500 structural parts per aircraft, repair, and replacement and fuselage reinforcement applications are carried out where necessary,” Demir explained. “We aim to increase the structural life of our F-16 aircraft, the main striking element of our air force, from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours.”

View: https://twitter.com/IsmailDemirSSB/status/1355813223052750855?s=20

it might be quite heavy since a lot of internal volume and material are dedicated to structural bracing.

A report on the project can be found here; no mention of the weight, but does mention materials utilised for weight consideration.

"The outer shell geometry of the 4-meter long EHPOD was designed as similar as possible to the external centerline fuel tank of 300 gallons (1.150 liters) of the F-16 Aircraft. Aluminum alloys and composite materials (for a light weight and resilient product) are utilized in the production of the pods. "

Aslesan has stated that Ozgur modernisation programme will include TULGAR HMD
Defense Industry President İsmail Demir;
"We have signed the F-16 Ozgur modernization contracts for our F-16 B40 & B50 aircraft."
"In this case, the purchase of the Viper modernization kit from the United States can be cancelled. This is because Ozgur modernization + MURAD (AESA) radar aims for further advancements."
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Not to be confused with the one in May last year. That aircraft was the prototype and was handed over for qualification. These 3 planes are delivered to operational squadrons. Before you ask, no, they don't have that "futuristic" digital camouflage :)
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AESA radar developed of the F-16 likely to have over 1,100 T/R Modules
(Acc. to Defenceturkey magazine):
1152 GaN T/R Module
PAE(Power Added Efficiency) : Rumors start from %37 and reach as high as %54
20W nominal 30W peak output power per module (20kW power-30kW peak power for radar plus several kW for accessories like LRUs etc.)
Multilayer LTCC packaging (Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic)
SIGE (Silicon-Germanium) multifunction BICMOS IC/Core Chip (either on 130 or 150nm/0.13-0.15μm)
GaN MMIC (likely on 150nm 0.15μm)
Digital beamforming+cognitive radar algorithms.
Specially designed ethylene glycol+water liquid cooling system with microchannels.
Hürjet is to receive MURAD (or at least a scaled version of it) within this year as well. Currently an F-16D/B30 and an Akinci are fitted with it.

Amazing piece of equipement. Also able to do wideband ESM and jamming. This radar puts the Ozgur into 4.5th gen category.

I wonder what they'll cook up for the Kaan radar? Minimum 2300 TRM, also GaN, 240kW generated from the engines. Maybe even dual X/S band radar? Fully digital radar?
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Amazing piece of equipement. Also able to do wideband ESM and jamming. This radar puts the Ozgur into 4.5th gen category.

I wonder what they'll cook up for the Kaan radar? Minimum 2300 TRM, also GaN, 240kW generated from the engines. Maybe even dual X/S band radar? Fully digital radar?

It'll be around 2,000 TRM mark, for sure. There's also the two opposing side facing chin radars that'll likely be around 500 TRM that we know is coming. Not sure if the rear will get the AESA treatment, likely will with the multifunctionality of ESM and Jamming capability. KAAN will need all the power it can get.
There's also the two opposing side facing chin radars
That's not yet confirmed though. At this point they're basically saying that it'll have anything fancy that are present in other fighters. For ex. Kotil also once said that it'll also have a rear facing radar but he never repeated that again hence he most likely meant ESM by that. These misunderstandings happen all the time but the project still needs to mature a bit before we come to any conclusions.

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