Aselsan supplied targeting pods for Pakistan’s JF-17 fighter jets
It was recently confirmed through Aselsan‘s Annual Yearbook for 2017 that the company’s ASELPOD advanced targeting pod was successfully integrated to and tested from the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF) JF-17 THUNDER multi-role fighter in 2017. The PAF ordered eight ASELPODs for U$25 million from Aselsan in 2016, with deliveries in November 2016 as well as September and February 2017.
Pakistan was the launch export customer of the ASELPOD, having procured the ASELPOD in a bid to provide the JF-17 with precision-strike ground attack capabilities. By deploying the ASELPOD, the JF-17 is able to deploy laser-guided bombs and, if equipped, laser-guided air-to-ground missiles.
Though Aselsan saidat IDEAS2016 that it anticipates additional ASELPOD orders from Pakistan, it is unclear if the PAF has made another order. That said, the Daily Sabah newspaer reported that Pakistan ordered another batch for $24.9 million, citing Aselsan’s disclosure on the Turkish government’s Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) in May 2017.
It is unclear if Aselsan’s JF-17 activities will expand beyond ASELPOD, even though the company offers tactical data-link terminals, integrated avionics and electronic warfare and electronic countermeasures (ECM) systems for combat aircraft.
The forthcoming induction of the T129 ATAK attack helicopter (story here, 20 of the 30 T129Bs slated for Pakistan will be equipped with Aselsan’s EW/ECM suite, which includes radio-frequency jamming) and the Pakistan Navy’s MILGEM ADA corvette (story here) and Agosta 90B submarine upgrade programmes will give Aselsan more opportunities in Pakistan, be it electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turrets, electronic support measures (ESM) systems and, potentially, radar and sonar sensors.
Since 2010, Aselsan had primarily supplied software-defined radio (SDR) kits to Pakistan.