Turkish Air Force
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Air Force

Current Title: Turk Hava Kuvvetleri
Title in English: Turkish Air Force
Abbreviation: THK


Narrative Summary:
March 1912 Army Aviation Section. 1912-1913 few aircraft used in Balkan wars by foreign pilots on behalf of Turkish forces. 1914 Turkish Flying Corps established with German assistance. 1917 Turkish Army Air Service. 1918 military aircraft banned by Treaty of Versailles. 1921-1922 a few aircraft used in defeat of Greek Army. 1928? Turkish Air Force (THK) established as part of the Army. 31 January 1944 became independent service.

Key Dates:
1921    Turkish Air Force formed
31 January 1944    Air Force becomes independent of the Army
1951    First jet aircraft delivered - T-33A
1958    First helicopters received - UH-19

Current Status:
To be added

Future Plans:
Take delivery of 4 (+2 options) Boeing 737AEW&C aircraft from 2005.
IAI are upgrading 54 F-4E Phantoms to F-4E-2020 Terminator standard. First redelivery was in March 1999.
IAI are to upgrade the avionics and weapons of 48 F-5s for Lead-In Fighter Training.
IAI are to upgrade 7 C-130E with new cockpit displays and avionics.
The Pacer Crag cockpit upgrade is being applied to the KC-135Rs.
10 A400M transports have been ordered.
Replace T-37 with 50 advanced turboprop trainer from 2005 - candidates are KT-1, PC-9, Super Tucano and T-6. Licenced manufacture by TAI will be required.


National Insignia:
Current --- Historical

Aircraft Serial Numbering System(s):

Turkish military aircraft serials typically comprise the last two digits of the year of entry into service and a 4-digit individual identity (often taken from the previous identity or construction number), e.g. Citation VII 93-7026.

Unit/Base Aircraft Code System(s):
Many THK aircraft used to carry tactical code numbers of the form x-xxx, eg: F-4E 1-585, where the first number denoted the AJU (Wing) and the 3-digit number denoted the last three of the serial. By 1999 these codes had been deleted.


Aircraft Designation System(s):
None - Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory:
Table of Current Service Aircraft

All-Time Aircraft Used List:
Alphabetical Order --- Chronological Order

Aircraft NOT Used:
False reports of aircraft on order or in service


Main Headquarters:
Inonu Bulvari, Bakanliklar, Ankara.

Current Organisational Structure:
The THK is divided into two Taktik Hava Kuvveti Komutabligi (Tactical Air Forces) and two direct reporting Komutangli (Commands). Units are grouped as Ana Jet Us (Jet Bases) or Ana Us (Bases), which function as operational wings. Each base has two or three operational Filos (Squadrons), plus a communications/SAR unit abbreviated EIK.

1st TAF HQ Eskisehir, East of Istanbul
2nd TAF HQ Diyarbakir, Southeastern Turkey
Hava Nakil Kuvveti Komutanligi (Air Transport Command)
Hava Egitim Komuntanligi (Air Training Command)

Current Order of Battle:
Table of Current Order of Battle

Historical Orders of Battle:
List of Historical Orders of Battle - to be added.

All-Time Flying Units List:
To be added.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases:
See organisation table above.

All-Time Air Bases Used List:
In addition to the main bases, there are also a number of smaller airports and airfields around the country which are sometimes used by the Air Force.
Military Air Bases Listing - to be added.

More Information


Turkish Military Aviation Bibliography - to be added.


World Air Power Journal No.17 p.148-157
World Air Power Journal No.19 p.30-33
Air Forces Monthly July 1996


Official Turkish Air Force website

wikipedia: Turkish Air Force

Scramble: Turkish Air Force



Air-Britain Photos: Turkish Air Force

Turkish Air Force

Turkish Air Forces Aircraft

Turkish General Staff

Turkish F-4 Phantoms

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First Created: 1 December 1995 - Last Revised: 1 August 2008
Copyright 1995 John Hayles.    e-mail: john@aeroflight.co.uk