The development of one of the most important programmes of the Turkish Navy is nearing completion according to the Turkish defence industry forerunner, Aselsan.

The new Multifunction, Phased Array Radar System, ÇAFRAD, is nearly complete following the official commencement of the programme in September 2013 when the Under Secretariat for the Defence Industries of Turkey (SSM) signed a contract of development with Aselsan.

ÇAFRAD is going to be installed in the Turkish Navy’s guided missile destroyer, which is currently under development in the TF-2000 programme. The 6,000 ton vessel is planned to be built over the next few years and delivered in 2023.

ÇAFRAD consists of three independent radars that work together and are hosted in the same ship’s mast structure, following the model of the architecture of the integrated mast system, I-MAST 400/500, of Thales, NL.

The three radar systems of ÇAFRAD consist of: the Multi-Function Active Phased Array Radar, the Long range Active Phased Array Radar, and the Active Phased Array Illuminator. Each one of the three radars consists of four antennas.

The Multi-Function Active Phased Array Radar will have a range of around 450km and it will be used for:

  • Volume and horizon searches,
  • Air and surface target detection, tracking and classification,
  • Small, low altitude and high velocity air target detection and tracking,
  • Fire control quality target tracking.

The Long range Active Phased Array Radar will be used for:

  • Long Range volume searches,
  • Air and surface target detection and tracking.

The Active Phased Array Illuminator will be used for Semi Active Missile Guidance.

The antennas of the ÇAFRAD will include tens of thousands of microwave GaN-based transmit/receive modules which are going to be built in Turkey by the newly established GaN foundry, AB-MikroNano. This new company was formed in December 2014 by Aselsan and Bilkent University GaN and is going to be part of the new radar industry that Turkey is gradually developing.

Additionally the power amplifier MMICs, one of the critical blocks of the GaN based transmit/receive modules, is being developed in Turkey and will also be produced in the country.

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