The Özgür project, which will localize and nationalize Turkey's equipment in the field of defense industry, will play an important role in the modernization of the existing F-16s. The capabilities of the radar systems used with the radar system known as 'Active Phased Array Radar', that is, AESA, developed by ASELSAN within the framework of the project, will increase significantly. The radar produced within the framework of the project will be used not only in the modernization of the F-16, but also in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The first application of the radar will be carried out in AKINCI UAV.
The presentation of the AESA radar, which was showcased at the event held in ASELSAN's Ankara Gölbaşı campus, was made by İsmail Demir, President of Defense Industries.
“As Atatürk pointed out; The future is in the skies”
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Established in 1975 to meet the communication needs of the Turkish Armed Forces with national means. ASELSAN; It is a joint stock company affiliated to the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation (TSKGV). ASELSAN 74,20% of the shares belong to TAFF, 25,80% of the shares are traded on Borsa Istanbul (BIST).
Turkey's largest defense electronics company ASELSAN; Communication and information technologies, radar and electronic warfare, electro-optics, avionics, unmanned systems, land, sea and weapon systems, air defense and missile systems, command and control systems, transportation, transportation, has a wide range of products that can meet the needs of security, traffic, automation and health technologies. ASELSAN Today, it has become a brand that exports its original products, is included in the list of the world's top 100 defense industry companies (Defense News Top 100), establishes partnerships with local organizations and makes investments in international markets.
ASELSAN, with the emphasis on technology in its vision, has adopted the goal of "to be a national technology company that maintains its sustainable growth with the values it creates in the global market, is preferred with its competitive power, is trusted as a strategic partner, and is sensitive to the environment and people".
With its qualified engineering staff of over 9.000 employees, which is one of the key factors of this success. ASELSAN, allocates an average of 7% of its annual turnover to R&D activities financed by its own funds.
Speaking at the event, President of Defense Industry Demir stated that they acted together with all the companies of the aviation industry and defense industry within the framework of the project, and said, “We say we have our eyes on the high. We are talking about the struggle for independence and future. As you know, today is the death anniversary of the great leader Atatürk; As Atatürk pointed out, we say 'The future is in the skies' and we say that domination of the skies is important in the struggle for independence and future. Our 'Free' project, which is the first steps of our F-16 modernization and liberation project, and its outputs; This means very broad. A very modern radar is a radar project equivalent to the most advanced radars in the world today.”
“We will use the capability we have gained here one step further in our national combat aircraft project”
Noting that Turkish systems can be integrated into the aircraft that will be modernized within the framework of the project, Demir said, “We are talking about an aircraft that can be fully integrated into Turkish systems by completely digitizing the evenings in the cockpit we put on it, and nationalizing a number of products, and using our national weapons. In fact, the studies carried out at this stage in our national combat aircraft journey also constitute the cornerstones of our national combat aircraft travel. We did not start from scratch on this journey, all these projects and works are the steps taken on the way there. I hope we will be using all the capabilities we have gained here one step further in our national combat aircraft project," he said.
Demir continued his speech as follows:
“We have various models of our F-16s; Starting from the first models, this application will be implemented now. Step by step, our F-16s will continue to serve our air force with much more advanced capabilities and modernized. We have important distances ahead of us. What we see now is a sign that we can achieve much better in the future. What we see here raises our hopes for success even more. It shows that Turkey will do much better in both manned and unmanned systems in the aviation industry.”
About the hardware that the radar will be installed on, “We will install the first application of our radar, which we call AESA radar, in unmanned systems, namely on our AKINCI, in a very short time. Later on, we will see this type of radar and related electronic systems in our F-16s, then in other models and later in our national combat aircraft. This represents a significant capability increase. Turkey's air power; I hope we will be in the era with systems that will increase their effectiveness in air-ground and air-air struggles. I see that we still have a long way to go. But what we have done so far shows us that these distances will be covered much faster and more successfully.”
Source: UAV – Aselsan