Turkey Receives Global 6000s for Jammer Conversion

 - March 16, 2019, 6:59 AM
One of two recently arrived Global 6000s taxis in for conversion to the Hava SOJ configuration. An Aselsan/Turkish Aerospace joint venture is modifying four for the Turkish air force. (Photo: SSB)

On March 15 Turkey’s Savunma Sanayii Baskanligi (SSB, Presidency of Defense Industries) announced that two green Bombardier Global 6000s had been delivered to the facilities of Turkish Aerospace to undergo modification to the Hava SOJ (air stand-off jammer) configuration. Some early graphics had depicted the system hosted on a Gulfstream platform.

On arrival, the aircraft were inspected by the SSB’s chairman, Ismail Demir, along with officials from the Turkish air force, Bombardier, Turkish Aerospace, and Aselsan—the electronics company that is prime contractor for the program. Aselsan was awarded the contract for four Hava SOJ aircraft on August 9, 2018, with the first to be delivered to Turkish Air Forces Command in 2023. A joint venture was formed with Turkish Aerospace to undertake the conversion work.

In common with other Global 6000 modifications, such as the Saab GlobalEye and Project Dolphin aircraft for the UAE, the Hava SOJ conversion requires extensive airframe modifications to add large sensor fairings. The aircraft is intended to provide a remote electronic support/electronic attack (ED/ET in Turkish nomenclature) capability and will be equipped with a comprehensive electronic support measures suite to detect and locate hostile radar transmissions and communications and a powerful jamming suite to deceive and jam those emissions. In service, the aircraft is primarily intended to operate from stand-off range to suppress enemy air defenses and protect tactical aircraft during operations.

Aselsan’s electronics system for the Hava SOJ draws on the company’s work with the Koral/Kara SOJ land-based electronic support/attack suite that is mounted on two heavy vehicles. All of the systems are being developed in-country and are claimed to be state-of-the-art. “We aim that the systems we will build will have much more advanced elements than the systems used in various countries around the world," said Demir during the welcoming event for the two aircraft.

Turkey and Aselsan have been exploring the development of an indigenous stand-off jamming platform to replace the current Transall-based capability since the late 2000s. Due to delays with the project, a parallel interim jammer program known as Golge (shadow) was launched, to provide an urgent operational capability with two Global Express-based systems. Nine local and international companies were issued with requests for information in early 2015, including Airbus Defence and Space and Selex (now Leonardo). A shortlist of four was drawn up, comprising Aselsan, Duygu Havacilik Ve Devanma (a joint venture between Turkish company Esen Sistem and Sierra Nevada Corporation), Savronik from Turkey (working with Ultra Electronics), and U.S. company Tempus Applied Solutions. The latter was judged the best of the Golge bidders, but financial difficulties resulted in second-placed Savronik being selected. Negotiations foundered and resulted in Golge being terminated in 2017 in favor of continuing with the original Aselsan project.

While the Hava SOJ is initially intended to answer the Turkish Armed Forces requirement, the aircraft could find customers elsewhere, with Pakistan as a potential export prospect. Aselsan has established the SADEC joint venture in Saudi Arabia with Taqnia, which is promoting a version of Hava SOJ known as Kasih. Aselsan is also working with Field Aviation on a Multi-Int aircraft with signals intelligence (Sigint), electro-optic, and radar sensors based on a Bombardier Challenger 605 airframe. This is intended to replace the Airbus CN235-100M used by the Turkish air force as Sigint aircraft. SADEC is marketing this aircraft as the Eshar.

Hava SOJ
The Hava SOJ has an extensive array of receiver sensors, jammers, and communications equipment. (Photo: Aselsan)