Turkey to build free fly zone with jammers

Turkey to build free fly zone with jammers

Özgür Ekşi ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey to build free fly zone with jammers

Murad Bayar, head of the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM), says Turkey will soon launch a tender for Airborne Stand-off Jammer Systems. AA photo

The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) is expected to open its new tender on Airborne Stand-off Jammer (SOJ) Systems.

Murad Bayar, of the SSM, told the Hürriyet Daily News that preparation for the tender process will be finalized soon. At least one civil airplane will be bought as part of the program and five companies are interested in the tender.

SOJs will serve to protect Turkish fighter planes from hostile radar waves, and will be placed on passenger airplanes to electronically jam the fly zone. Electronic systems will not be affected by interference and planes will be able to fly safely on the jammed area. The program will thus effectively create a “Turkish fly zone” for Turkish airplanes and a “no fly zone” to hostile countries because only hostile countries’ electronic systems will become electronically incapacitated. The U.S. has used similar system in Iraq in the past, and Turkish planes could only cross the Iraqi border after receiving permission from the American authorities.

SSM has already announced that a minimum of one plane will be bought and that the option to buy three additional planes will be on the table. Turkish electronic firmware company Aselsan, which produces mostly for the military, will produce the firmware.

Four planes

The financial aspect of the tender has not yet been announced, however the probable sale of four airplanes has already alerted five prominent companies. Airbus, Antonov, Boeing, Embraer and Gulf Stream are all companies known to be interested in the tender.

Airbus and Boeing traditionally compete in passenger airplanes. Gulf Stream won the Command and Control Airplane program and sold two airplanes in 2009. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan visited Embraer in May 2010 during his trip to South America.