Lockheed Martin will provide the Turkish Air Force with electronic warfare modernization on board its fleet of F-16s under the terms of the US FMS contract announced in March.
The contract, valued at $13.98 million, has a period lasting through the conclusion of December 2017, and will fit the ALQ-211(V)9 Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS) to the jet fighter, Forecast International reported Thursday.
However, this deal is part of an ongoing process, as the U.S. continues to focus on bolstering its allies along the border of the Arabian Peninsula.
In March 2014, Exelis Electronic Systems announced that Turkey had ordered 21 ALQ-211(V)9 AIDEWS pods alongside support equipment and countermeasures dispensing systems. At the time, the contract, if all options were exercised, would be worth a potential $75.3 million. The AIDEWS pods would provide a significant enhancement to the F-16s' survivability and strike potential.
The ALQ-211(V)9 is the newest generation of the AIDEWS pod. Its capabilities will allow Turkey's F-16s to sense radar air surveillance from afar, and will provide pilots with flight path redirection in order to avoid detection.
Additionally, the V9 is able to act aggressively in the event of radar detection or missile tracking. The EW pod's onboard jammer and ECM coordinator is capable of disrupting several methods of detection, including RF, IR, and laser; it can also cue the use of chaffs and flares.
With the new EW equipment, the fighter jet now has the capability to unleash some of the latest developments of electronic warfare technology in the event of an aerial battle.
Additionally, the Turkish Air Force's F-16s will now be far more capable in the aerial escort role. The EW upgrade will give the F-16s a far heightened chance of being able to ferry slower moving, more detectable strike platforms into enemy territory; in essence, penetrating deeper behind enemy lines in order to perform crucial ground strikes.
The effective "invisibility" that the ALQ-211(V)9 grants the F-16 gives Turkey a better chance of approaching an enemy in the heart of its territory, so it can hit valuable ground targets.