Turkey develops its own AESA radar for its F-16 C/D fighters

ANKARA, ($1=14.19 Turkish Liras) — The F-16’s active electronically scanned array [AESA] radar prototype, developed by Aselsan with national resources, is scheduled to be delivered by the end of this year. The AESA radar will be integrated into the F-16 Block 30 combat aircraft, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing the Turkish source SavunmaSanayiST.com. Turkey currently has 245 units of F-16 C/D fighters in service.

Turkish F-16 has intercepted a Russian long-range Tu-22 bombers over the Black Sea
Photo credit: Flicr

AESA’s radar development for the AKINCI UAV and the 4th generation F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter has been ongoing for some time in Aselsan’s engineering departments. According to information provided by the Turkish online defense portal SavunmaSanayiST.com, the AESA national F-16 radar will be delivered by the end of this year. Currently, the Turkish F-16 Block 30 is in the process of structural modernization by TAI.

Thus, the flight life of the F-16 Block 30s increases from 8,000 hours to 12,000 hours. With the current Turkish Ozgur project, the F-16 Block 30s will undergo avionics upgrades. It is emphasized that the AESA radar is also included in the Ozgur project.

What do we know about the Turkish AESA radar?

According to available information, the functions and capabilities of the national AESA radar for F-16, which Ankara is financing and developing, will significantly improve the functionality of Turkish fighter jets. The new radar will be able to search at long distances [not specified], will be able to track the intercepted target, as well as multiple targets [not reported how many]. The radar will show weather conditions, detect a target, and assist the pilot during air combat.

American F/A-18E/F Super Hortnet vs. Russian Su-30 Flanker C/G/H
AESA radar of F-18 Super Hornet | Photo credit: Wikipedia

Turkish AESA F-16 radar will measure the distance from the ground to the manned fighter jet, or to the target, thus possibly assisting Turkey’s ground forces or air defenses. It will detect and track moving ground targets, determine altitude, have an integrated SAR band, navigation system, land map and will be able to search the sea.

According to sources, the radar will be able to participate in both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, making it multifunctional. Aselsan says it will integrate local target recognition software.

Aselsan’s radars right now

Again, according to information from Turkish sources, Aselsan is currently developing radars with AESA technology for the attacking AKINCI UAV, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and national combat aircraft [MMU]. The schedule for the AKINCI’s radar has been slightly delayed due to the embargo.

Turkey tested second prototype of Akinci attack drone with a new engine
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Turkey claims that the radar for combat aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2022, and for other aircraft of the Turkish Air Force by the end of 2026.

Developed for MMU, the AESA radar will be located in a highly developed structure called the National Integrated Radio Frequency System for Combat Aircraft [BURFIS in Turkish].

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