Ankara-based Aselsan has flown a domestically produced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar aboard a Turkish air force Lockheed Martin F-16.

Taking place on 15 February but disclosed on 26 March, the sortie is the latest development step for the sensor system.

Turkey F-16-c-vaalaa_Shutterstock

Source: vaalaa/Shutterstock

AESA radar will enhance capabilities of Turkish F-16 fleet

Destined to equip the Turkish air force’s F-16 fleet – alongside an indigenous mission computer – the AESA radar includes features such as automatic recognition and multiple target tracking.

Trials will also take place “very soon” aboard the Baykar Bayraktar Akinci uncrewed air vehicle (UAV), says Aselsan.

“Flights will be carried out in 2024 after integration with other jet aircraft and other national UAVs,” it adds.

The design is suitable for numerous other platforms, including the Turkish Aerospace Hurjet trainer, Kaan fifth-generation fighter and Anka-3 UAV, says Aselsan.

“While the F-16 will be moved to the level of 4.5th-generation aircraft with the AESA radar, Kaan and combat UAVs will become 5th-generation and beyond platforms with additional capabilities and low-visibility features,” says Dr Haluk Gorgun, chair of the Turkish Defence industry Council.

Preparations for the mass production of the AESA radar have been completed at Aselsan’s technology base in Ankara, the company states.