Turkey Unveils Indigenous AESA Radar for Manned, Unmanned Platforms

Turkish defense firm Aselsan unveiled its domestically-developed active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar Thursday.

The radar will be retrofitted onto the Turkish Air Force’s F-16 fighter jets and Akinci unmanned aerial vehicles, Janes revealed, citing the president of Defense Industries Ismail Demir.

The future Turkish Fighter Experimental manned aircraft will also be equipped with the radar, developed as part of the OZGUR project. 

“This represents a significant capability increase. I hope we will be in the era with systems that will increase the effectiveness of Turkey’s air power in air-ground and air-air struggles,” Savunma Sanayi quoted Demir as saying.

F-16 Block 30 Upgrade

The OZGUR project seeks to upgrade 35 F-16 Block 30 aircraft, retrofitting them with a suite of domestically-developed avionics and systems, Aviation Online wrote

The air force reportedly operates 43 F-16 Block 30 C and D models, 117 Block 40, and 110 Block 50 aircraft.

The project includes only the Block 30 because of the availability of their source codes, which is not the case with the other F16 versions, Aviation Online explained.

Flight Hours Extended by 4,000 Hours

The upgrade includes a structural modernization of the aircraft — extending its flight hours from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours — and avionics modernization. 

The modernization includes a new “mission computer, a system interface unit, new cockpit color displays, hydraulic fuel gauge, engine display screen, new national identification friend/foe system, new radar warning receivers, and an inertial navigation system,” the outlet added.

AESA Radar

The radar’s latest Gallium Nitride technology enables it to perform better than most AESA radars operating presently, Aviation Online claimed.

The outlet added that the radar has electronic attack capabilities and can perform simultaneous air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-sea missions.

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