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New Aselsan radar makes debut flight on F-16 aircraft

A screenshot from an Aselsan video showing its new AESA radar in an anechoic chamber prior to flight trials aboard an F-16. (Aselsan)

Aselsan's new active electronically scanned array (AESA) Nose Radar has completed its maiden flight onboard the Turkish Air Force's (TuAF's) Lockheed Martin F-16 Block-30 fighter jet.

According to Aselsan on 26 March, the indigenously developed radar is designed to support both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions and offers capabilities such as multitarget detection and tracking, beyond-visual-range missile guidance, high-resolution imaging, and electronic warfare functionalities.

Commonly referred to as Murad, the Nose Radar is a key component of the Özgür programme, dedicated to modernising the TuAF's F-16 Block-30 fleet. The initiative involves integrating new indigenous software and hardware on the aircraft, including for the mission control computer, and replacing elements of the avionics and cockpit displays.

After successful integration of the Nose Radar on the F-16 Block-30s, the aircraft will become a 4.5-generation platform, according to the President of Defence Industry Agency (SSB), Haluk Görgün. İsmail Demir, then president of SSB, noted in November 2022 during an unveiling of the radar that its capabilities were “equivalent to the most advanced radars in the world”.

The radar is designed with gallium nitride (GaN)-based chip technology, featuring synthetic aperture radar (SAR), wideband radar spectrum monitoring, and directional electronic jamming capabilities, and supports more effective guidance for air-launched munitions. Technical specifications of the radar were not disclosed.

The Kaan National Combat Aircraft (MMU) and Hürjet light-attack aircraft as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as Baykar's Bayraktar Akıncı and Kızılelma and Turkish Aerospace's Anka 3 are also expected to be equipped with the Nose Radar.

For more information on the modernisation of Turkey ' s F-16 Block-30 fleet, please see

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