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Turkish Air Force receives first upgraded T-38 jet trainer

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The T-38 Talon jet trainer.

ANKARA (BNS): The Turkish Air Force has received the first upgraded T-38 Talon supersonic jet trainer from the Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) last month.

The modernised prototype aircraft was handed over to the Air Force during a ceremony at TAI's facility on April 20, the company said.

TAI, as a prime contractor in the Northrop-made T-38 programme, was contracted by the Undersecreteriat for Defense Industries to design, develop and implement an avionics upgrade under the T-38 Avionics Modernisation programme for the Turkish Air Force.

Under the contract, a total of 55 T-38 jet trainers will be upgraded. The upgradation programme will be implemented in two phases - prototype phase and serial production phase.

During the prototype phase, modification of five aircraft will be performed at TAI's facilities. The remaining 50 production aircraft will be modified at the Air Force's 1st Air Supply and Maintenance Center as part of serial production phase.

The upgradation will extend the service life of the T-38 jets well into the mid of 21st century with more reliable, modern and state of the art digital technology avionics and subsystems.

Following the prototype deliveries in 2012, the last aircraft modification is planned to be completed in 2014, TAI said.

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