F-16s to be equipped with missile warning systems
Officials say if Turkey decided to outfit only its F-16 fleet with the missile warning systems (MWS), this would mean business for over 200 aircraft.Turkey has launched a competition worth hundreds of millions of dollars to equip scores of its military aircraft with high-tech missile warning systems (MWS).
A defense official said the planned MWS would boast Imaging Infrared (IIR) technology which detects a missile from heat coming from its exhaust. “We think the IIR is the best technology to meet our requirements,” he said.
Once an enemy missile has been detected, the pilot can either launch chaff flares to jam its course, or he can take on avoidance maneuvers.
Under an earlier program, military electronics concern Aselsan, Turkey’s biggest defense firm, produced a similar MWS based on ultraviolet technology and outfitted these to scores of military helicopters under a German license.
A defense expert said ultraviolet would be more suitable for helicopters whereas the IIR is better for platforms flying at higher altitude.
“The false warning ratio with the IIR sensors is smaller than ultraviolet sensors at higher altitudes,” he said.
Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM), has said the competition it opened will be for fixed-wing platforms in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force.
First manufacturer may foreign
At the end of August, SSM issued a Request for Information (RfI) in order to “gather general information on potential suppliers of the MWS in the market; have an idea of availability of the required MWS; investigate and clarify the system and sub-system based technical details and requirements; define logistics support requirements for the system as a part of the Request for Proposal (RfP) preparation effort.”
Only MWS manufacturers can receive the RfI document until Sept. 16, SSM said. The responses to the RfI should be delivered to SSM on or before Oct. 11. Procurement officials said that if Turkey decided to outfit only its F-16 fleet with the MWS, this would mean business for over 200 aircraft. “An initial batch would probably be purchased off-the-shelf from a foreign manufacturer, but the rest could be produced locally under license,” the official said.