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Turkish defence and aerospace exports in the first eight months of 2018 increased by 14.8% compared with the same period in 2017, statistics published by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM) on 1 September revealed. Total exports for the period were U$1.244 billion, with the US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Oman, India, France, Poland, Azerbaijan, Spain, Belgium, Senegal, Italy, the Philippines and Ukraine being the top 15 export destinations. In terms of geographic distribution, the sector exported $467 million to North America, $375 to EU member countries (and $17 million to other European customers), $168 million to the Middle East (a 211% increase over 2017), $50 million to the Commonwealth of Independent States, $29 million to the Far East (a decrease of 22.6%), $69 million to other Asian nations and $33 million to Africa.

 

HIZIR Countermeasures System Success Against DM2A4 Torpedo

In June, an Aselsan official informed MONCh that the HIZIR Torpedo Countermeasure System (TCMS) had successfully completed a test deployment against a training version of the DM2A4 heavyweight torpedo. The torpedo was launched against the ADA-class corvette BURGAZADA, during her sea acceptance trials, from a range of 10-12km and was successfully seduced away from the target by decoys. HIZIR uses the DULGER expendable self-propelled target emulator and MEZGIT self-propelled jammer, both members of the ZOKA anti-torpedo acoustic decoy family. The system consists of an 800m long towed array passive sonar, a towed decoy located at the 650m mark of the array, shipboard decoy launchers for DULGER and MEZGIT, and supporting electronics and mechanical systems.

BURGAZADA is the third ADA-class vessel for the Turkish Navy and will be commissioned on 28 September, but the first to be fitted with HIZIR – her predecessors carry the SEA SENTOR Surface Ship Torpedo Defence System from Ultra Electronics. Aselsan completed factory acceptance tests of HIZIR in October last year, quickly integrating the system onto BURGAZADA, which set out on her maiden voyage on 18 March this year. Aselsan Deputy General Manager Mustafa Kaval told MONCh in May that the SEA SENTOR systems on the first two corvettes will ultimately be replaced by HISIR, adding: “HIZIR passed all tests successfully. [Turkish Naval Forces Command] has performed five more tests with HIZIR TCMS, it is proved that our system is much more effective than foreign one.”

 

HIZR sonar array being laid. (All photos via author)

 

 

Aselsan developed the ZOKA decoy family (comprising both stationary and self-propelled jammers and target emulator decoys) with up-to-date signal processing capability under the DAKA (Acoustic Decoy System for Submarines) Project. In 2008-2014, some 280 ZOKA decoys and four ZARGANA TCMS were manufactured for the AY-class submarines, with a further 360 and eight respectively for the PREVEZE- and GUR-classes. All three classes can launch the LAPIN, MERCAN, CIPURA and CACA (10x50cm and 10x100cm) decoys though signal ejector tubes: PREVEZE- and GUR-class boats, however, use the ZARGANA launcher for the 12.5x120cm self-propelled LIPSOZ target emulator and ESKINA jammer. Aselsan developed a six-tube ZARGANA launcher for these classes under a TL34 million contract awarded in January 2015. The system offers considerably reduced reaction time compared with signal tube ejection thanks to being fully integrated into the submarines’ combat management system. Integration on to all eight GUR-class boats is due for completion by the end of 2019 – factory acceptance tests having been completed in November 2017.

 

CAFRAD Prototype Integrated on GABYA-class Frigate for Sea Trials

Design, Development and manufacture of the CAFRAD prototype – consisting of an X-Band Multifunctional Phased Array Radar (CFR), an X-Band Illumination Radar (AYR) and a non-rotating AESA IFF antenna subsystem, was completed in September 2017 and factory acceptance tests were conducted in the first quarter of 2018. The prototype has now been installed on a GABYA-class frigate, with Phase I of the test programme scheduled for completion by early 2019. Phase II of the programme will cover the development of multi-face antenna versions of CFR and AYR and the development of UMR (to be based on the Turkish Air Force’s EIRS S-Band early warning radar and their integration with the CAFRAD suite. SSB plans to award Phase II in November 2018, with deliveries to start in 2023.

 

Aselsan CAFRAD units on Technology Demonstration Prototype (TGP) tower.

 

 

CAFRAD, under development under a $79 million contract since 2013, will provide the core capability and be the main sensor for the TF-2000-class air defence warfare destroyers, which will be designed and built around the CAFRAD capability. Featuring advanced GaN and AESA technologies, the CAFRAD suite can be installed on a single mast if the UMR fixed-panel option is adopted. The TF-2000-class will also feature a number of indigenous sensor systems such as the GENESIS ADVENT CMS and YAKAMOS-3 hull-mounted active/passive sonar, as well as weapon systems such as the 35mm KORKUT-D close-in weapon SYSTEM, HISAR-A short-, HISAR-Nokta medium- and HISAR-U long-range surface to air missiles. The latter will be capable of engaging airbreathing targets to a range of 70-90km, according to officials. The vessels are also expected to be fitted with the naval variant of the Enhanced Long Range Area Air and Missile Defence System (GUMS/UMBFSS), with ballistic missile defence capability. EuroSam has been selected as the technical support provider for these missile systems, to be fired from nationally-developed vertical launch systems.

 

Aselsan Secures New Export Order for AselPOD

On 29 June, Aselsan announced the award of a third export contract, valued at $30 million, for the AselPOD EO/IR airborne targeting system. An initial $25 million order signed with Pakistan in 2016 covered the delivery of 16 pods (eight according to Pakistani sources), which were delivered from early 2017 and fitted to the Pakistan Air Force’s JF-17s. This order was won against the Lockheed Martin SNIPER and Thales DAMOCLES pods. A second $25 million order for an additional 16 pods was signed with Pakistan in May 2017 and the following month the series of firing tests on the JF-17 was completed.

 

AselPOD EO/IR airborne targeting system.

 

 

Additional Orders for SERHAT HTR

Aselsan has signed a contract with the Turkish MoND valued at $40.3 million for the procurement of counter mortar radar (CMR). Under a previous $16 million contract, the company delivered 15 SERHAT CMR (on Otokar COBRA tactical vehicles) to Land Forces Command (LKK). Subsequent demand for a counter-rocket, mortar and artillery (C-RAM) capability led to firing tests to prove SERHAT’s abilities: the radar has also been procured by the Turkish Air Force for the force protection role, protecting early warning facilities on the borers and deployed I-HAWL missile battalions.

 

Otokar COBRA with Aselsan SERHAT Counter Mortar Radar.

 

 

The L-band SERHAT CMR, the first national weapon locating system using patented advanced radar techniques, has already been successfully deployed in operations against Syria. The system can detect and accurately calculate points of impact and origin for enemy mortars fired from behind hills or mountains in all environmental conditions.

With its phased array cylindrical fixed 360° antenna on a mast mounted on a COBRA vehicle and capable of operating 24/7 thanks to an external generator, the first SERHAT CMR was delivered to the LKK in October 2014. The integrated INS/GPS system provides very high accuracy in terms of firing position identification and impact point calculation. The ability to track projectiles launched by KATYUSHA-type multiple rocket launchers has also subsequently been incorporated.

In addition to SERHAT, Aselsan is also working on a next-generation weapon locating radar (WLR) under a $177 million contract signed with MoND in December 2016. The company is to deliver nine WLR, with AESA antenna technology and a target acquisition range of 100km, to the LKK, to replace the current 40km-range COBRA systems. The AESA and digital beam forming (DBF) characteristics of the new WLR support electronic scan and terrain following as well as providing for early warning messaging regarding calculated impact points, thereby reducing casualty rates.

 

Aselsan SERHAT Radar EMC EMI Test

 

 

DIMDEG Contract for Sefine Shipyard

On 10 July, Sefine Shipyard secured the contract for construction of a DIMDEG fleet replenishment vessel for the Turkish Navy. The project comprises two phases: Preliminary Design and Detailed Design & Construction. The ship’s preliminary design has been completed by the Turkish Naval Forces Command’s Design Project Office located in the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, while some tests have been conducted by STM under a contract awarded in October 2012. For the Detailed Design & Construction Phase, a tender was launched, attracting responses from Sedef and Sefine Shipyards in May 2016. On 31 January 2018 the government gave the green light for negotiations to be commenced with Sefine. 

 

DIMDEG will have an overall length of 190m, displacement of 22,000t tons and a beam of 25m, and will be propelled by two gas turbines and two diesel engines, giving the vessel a maximum speed of 24 knots.

 

 

According a 13 July statement by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), a host of Turkish companies will participate in the project, including Aselsan, Havelsan and Turkish Loyd, and the vessel will be fitted with the GENESIS ADVENT combat management system. “The Industrial Participation and Offset commitment in the DIMDEG Project will be realised over 77%,” the statement read.

 

 

Image from the DIMDEG contract award.

 

 

KTJ-3200 Engine Tests Continuing

On 20 June, SSB announced that tests of the Kale Turbojet-3200 (KTJ-3200) engine are continuing and that, on successful completion, the engine will power all the indigenously-developed SOM air launched cruise missile (ALCM) and ATMACA surface to surface missile families. Kale Aero signed a $25 million research, development and engineering contract with SSB in February 2012 for development of what was then known as the KJ-3500 due to its targeted maximum thrust rating of 3.5kN, but subsequently renamed KJ-3200 since it is only able to deliver 3.2. 

The engine will run on either JP8 or JP10 fuel and, since it is only intended for a single use, running time will be only 20-25 minutes. It is intended as a replacement for Safran Power Units’ (formerly Microturbo) TR40 turbojet engine (in the 2.5-3.4kN class) currently being used on SOM and ATMACA missiles.

 

Azerbaijan Displays SOM-B1 Missile Mockup

During the parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on 26 June, the Azerbaijani Air and Air Defence Force (AADF) displayed a mockup of the SOM-B1 long-range high precision ALCM being produced for it by Roketsan. From this it is clear that the nation has procured an undisclosed number of the cruise missiles, making it the first export operator of SOM.

 

Roketsan SOM-B1 on a tactical truck during parade marking the 100th anniversary of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

 

 

The SOM-B1 is designed for use against high value, heavily defended ground and sea targets, with a range of up to 280km and allowing for high precision behind-the-lines strike. The most likely launch platforms are the AAF’s MiG-29 multirole fighters, on which the missile was live fire tested in Turkey in 2016, according to sources close to the programme. Roketsan officials state that the company has been working on the SOM ALCM with Azerbaijan since 2014. In April 2018, General Manager Selçuk Yasar disclosed a unit price tag in excess of $1 million.

On 4 January 2018, SSB announced that Roketsan has completed delivery of the first seven SOM-B1 missiles to the Turkish Air Force. Roketsan has been cooperating with TüBiTAK-SAGE and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics since 2014 for the integration of SOM-J on the F-35 LIGHTNING II. SOM-A and SOM-B1 have been certified for the F-4E 2020 and F-16 platforms and already entered Turkish Air Force service, with qualification and certification flight tests for the SOM-B2 currently ongoing.

Meteksan Savunma is working on a two-way encrypted RF datalink capability under the KEMENT Project, which will allow in-flight re-tasking against moving targets for SOM B1/B2 missiles, having successfully completed a prototype demonstration phase in May 2018: studies are planned for completion before the missile enters the serial production phase. Following the completion of the current Design Verification Phase, factory and site acceptance tests will be initiated. The company is expected to be ready for prototype deliveries by the end of 2018. SOM-J, on the other hand, features a LINK-16 tactical datalink.

Kublai Han

 

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