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Aselpod – Turkish Production Laser-Based Targeting Pod For F-16 Fighting Falcon

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    Aselpod – Turkish Production Laser-Based Targeting Pod For F-16 Fighting Falcon

    Updates regarding the Ozgur program, namely the upgrade of the F-16 Viper carried out by Turkey, are interesting to observe. In addition to the tug-of-war story about obtaining Washington's permit, Ozgur has garnered attention for being the first F-16 Block 30 upgrade program to the Block 70 Viper standard to be carried out with non-US components.

    The adoption of non-US components, alias those made in Turkey in the Ozgur program cannot be underestimated, because the components supplied by several Turkish companies are very important components. 

    In addition to the Aselsan-supplied Murad AESA radar, the Ozgur program also includes important components such as the domestically produced MGB (Millî Görev Bilgisayarı / Indigenous Mission Computer) – mission computer and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) system.

    Other than those mentioned above, the F-16 Viper 'taste' of Turkey will also be fitted with a target targeting device (pod) called Aselpod, produced by Aselsan. The Aselpod is functionally similar to the targeting pod made in the United States that has been used on the F-16 Fighting Falcon, such as the Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod (ATP) produced by Lockheed Martin and the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pod produced by Northrop Grumman.

    Aselpod Electro-Optical Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Targeting Pod, prototype status is months away. After a long process of development, integration and testing, the Aselpod has been certified for the Turkish F-16 and can operate on the Turkish Air Force's F-16 and F-4 Terminator fighter jets.

    First pod flight testing commenced on a CN-235 aircraft for initial qualification and inspection. Then, progressing to F-4E/2020 and F-16. Aselpod was also delivered to Lockheed Martin for software integration and test work which was completed on Lockheed's F-16 SIL in Texas.

    Turkey is also known to have supplied Aselpod for L-159 ALCA combat trainer jets belonging to the Iraqi Air Force and Pakistan's JF-17 Thunder Block III.

    From the specifications, Aselpod has a length of 2350 mm and a diameter of 430 mm, and weighs 240 kg. Aselpod has various sensors such as an infrared zoom camera, TV, laser range finder and target designator with a MIL-STD-1553B communication interface. The power interface adopts 115 VAC 400Hz and 28 VDC.

    Even though it can be used for a variety of fighter jets, it is not certain that F-16s outside of Turkey can use the Aselpod, because something related to or related to the F-16 must obtain permission and license from the principal country.

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