Türkiye's Aselsan seals deals to export drone camera, guidance kits - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye’s Aselsan seals deals to export drone camera, guidance kits

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Türkiye’s prominent defense electronics manufacturer, Aselsan, announced on Wednesday that it had sealed three separate agreements, including the inaugural exports of new drone optical technology and guidance kits.

The contracts, worth about $31.5 million, cover the GÖZDE guidance kit and ASELFLIR-500, an electro-optical reconnaissance, surveillance and targeting system that is considered the world’s best in its class.

The electro-optic system is more advanced than the Common Aperture Targeting System (CATS), which Aselsan developed after Canada suspended sales of its optical equipment to Türkiye in 2020.

Ottawa suggested that the system attached to Turkish-made drones had been used by Azerbaijan while fighting illegally occupying Armenian forces in Karabakh, the Azerbaijani enclave Baku has since liberated.

The embargoed equipment included Wescam sensors used in Türkiye’s famed Bayraktar TB2 drones, developed by Baykar.

This January, Canada announced it had dropped weapon export controls on drone parts, including the imaging and targeting system, shortly after Türkiye formally approved Sweden’s NATO membership bid.

The GÖZDE guidance kit, developed jointly by Aselsan and TÜBITAK SAGE, entered inventory last year.

It converts 500-pound MK-82 general-purpose bombs into INS/GPS and Laser Seeker Head (LAB) guided ammunition, facilitating precise strikes on stationary and high-speed moving targets (50-120 kilometers per hour).

The guidance kit has been certified for F-16 and F-4 aircraft, and integration has also been completed for Türkiye’s most advanced and sophisticated drone, Bayraktar Akıncı.

The development of ASELFLIR-500 marks the latest advancement in the critical system that Türkiye for years imported from abroad.

Its first mass-produced samples were unveiled last month, and engineers have begun their integration into domestic air platforms.

With superior image clarity enabling more precise target identification, it promises to enhance operational success while contributing to the country’s economy through high-value exports, reaching up to $20,000 per kilogram.

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