Turkey’s Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fleet will receive a bolstered electronic warfare capability, after Harris was awarded a contract to provide more defensive aids suites for the air force.
Awarded by the US Air Force Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB in Georgia, the deal will lead to Harris providing 21 ALQ-211 advanced integrated defensive electronic warfare suite (AIDEWS) pods for integration on the Turkish air force’s F-16 fleet. The contract also covers maintenance, spares and engineering support.
“The Harris AIDEWS pod takes sophisticated electronic protection for agile platforms like the F-16 to new levels of performance and flexibility,” says Rich Sorelle, president of the company's electronic warfare systems business unit. “The pod’s design allows F-16 users to move EW capabilities among their fleets to increase overall aircraft availability.”
Harris, under the Exelis business unit it acquired in 2015, has previously provided the system to Turkey under contracts awarded in 2009 and 2014.
The ALQ-211 system includes a radar warning receiver, digital radio frequency memory jammer and electronic warfare suite controller. The protection suite is integrated into the US Special Operations Command’s Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor and the Royal Norwegian Air Force’s NH Industries NH90 multi-mission helicopter, plus F-16s for Chile, Oman, Pakistan and Poland.
The Turkish air force has a fleet of 245 F-16C/Ds, Flightglobal’s Fleets Analyzer database shows, each between three and 28 years old.
Other touted upgrades for its fleet include the Roketsan SOM air-to-surface cruise missile, which the manufacturer hopes will be integrated in 2018.
Ankara also has plans to acquire 100 F-35As manufactured by Lockheed, with a SOM-J weapon expected to be integrated onto the type for use by both the domestic air force and foreign operators of the type.
Flight testing of the SOM-J on the F-35 is expected in 2017 and Turkey has requested integration with the aircraft as part of the planned Block 4.2 software package for the type.