By Paolo Valpolini
Aselsan, the Turkish defence electronics leading company, exhibited its many new systems at IDEF 2021. Among those two new command systems could be seen, one aimed at naval operations, the second at air operation.
At the Istanbul exhibition we could see for the first time the decision centric Next Generation Combat Management System, which thanks to its compatibility with multiple data links, Link 11, Link 16, Link 22, as well as Aselsan’s proprietary Link M, allows connecting all players, from ships to unmanned air vehicles, to operations centres on land, to friendly platforms or command centres. According to Aselsan the new CMS allows to fully bring the Navy in the joint domain, providing security against cyber attacks, and with an eye already turned towards Multi Domain Operations.
Company funded, the new development was triggered by an analysis of operational requirements, based on the complexity of new war scenarios. This led to the new CMS, which is more complex and modern compared to existing ones. Based on a fully open architecture, it is scalable according to the type of platform on which it would be installed, ad is capable to integrate all types of sensors and effectors.
Aselsan is clearly proposing itself as a one-stop-shop, and new systems were on display for the first time at IDEF. Among those the new FERSAH hull mounted sonar, and the CENK new generation 3D surveillance radar.
EDR On-Line could witness a demonstration of the new system, using Link-M data link, that included a number of friendly platforms called to face an enemy missile attack in a brown waters scenario, the NG CMS allowing to optimise the coordination and the use of sensors and effectors in order to maximise the effect against the enemy. The CMS has already been fitted with some artificial intelligence elements, however Aselsan is in full analysis phase to further implement AI-based algorithms into its new decision centric CMS.
According to company officials, the New Generation CMS is an development of the existing CMS, the latter being upgradeable to the new standard. EDR On-Line understood that this would very much depend on the level of the upgrades, a full replacement being also considered.
The demonstration saw the defensive action being carried out with both soft- and hard-kill systems. Among the latter the Gökdeniz, the twin-barrel 35 mm close-in weapon system that employs ATOM air-burst ammunition to defeat incoming missiles, each round containing 160 tungsten cylinders. According to Aselsan representatives the system has been contracted by the Turkish Navy as well as by an international customer. No details were provided on the latter customer, but TV footage of the new Dearsan-designed corvette commissioned into service in earlier August by Turkmenistan showed the new Gökdeniz inner-layer defence system.
From sea to air, the Hakim air defence command and control system has been provided to Azerbaijan in its basic version, and is therefore combat proven, however a contract for the latest version has been signed. Fully scalable, it can be deployed at tactical, operational or strategic level, being capable to cope with low-medium range up to long-range sensors and effectors. The system provides a correlated air picture, allowing weapon assignment directives that evolve along with the situation. Beside the real-time use, the Hakim can also be employed for planning and for drafting the Air Tasking order.
Aselsan considers the Hakim a strategic programme; while the current iteration makes limited use of AI algorithms, the AD C2 system, as the aforementioned naval CMS, will see the AI content increasing with time in order to improve its capabilities. Aselsan is in negotiation with the Turkish Air Force, EDR On-Line having understood that some building blocks have already been contracted.
Photos P. Valpolini