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New Generation Guidance Kits: GÖKÇE & GÖZDE

Issue 109

Carrying out research and development activities for defense systems with the motto of "National R&D for National Defense", TÜBİTAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute (SAGE) has developed guidance kits that provide precision strike capability to various bombs in the Turkish Air Force (TurAF) inventory for many years. The success and experience gained in these development processes lead to innovative and globally competitive projects with high added value, which will make our country fully independent in the field of defense industry, in line with the corporate vision and mission of TÜBİTAK SAGE. In this context, significant progress has been made in the development of new generation guidance kits with the GÖKÇE and GÖZDE projects.

GÖKÇE

The GÖKÇE Project was launched in the first quarter of 2021 by TÜBİTAK SAGE with its own resources to develop a new generation guidance kit. The conceptual design phase of the project has been completed, and the preliminary design phase continues. Within the scope of the project, TÜBİTAK SAGE aims to develop a cost-effective guidance kit that can be used on F-16 fighters and UCAVs, compatible with 1000 lb. class bombs and BRU-57 bomb rack. GÖKÇE has INS/GPS/Laser guidance, man-in-the-loop capability, and smart weapon network compatibility. It also provides increased range and precision strike capability and is effective against moving and stationary targets.

It is planned to integrate the new generation guidance kit developed under the GÖKÇE Project to F-16 fighters and UCAVs such as Aksungur and Akıncı, which have 1000 lb. class munition carrying capacity. The GÖKÇE guidance kit, which will have a range of 20+ nautical miles (37+ km) with F-16s and 10+ nautical miles (18+ km) with UCAVs, will both provide a significant range increase compared to the other kits in the inventory and allow the integration of 1000 lb. class munitions to UCAV platforms.

The GÖKÇE guidance kit can be used with the 1000 lb. Mk-83 general-purpose bombs in the TurAF inventory and the SARB-83T Tandem Penetrating Thermobaric Warhead developed and produced by TÜBİTAK SAGE. In addition, the GÖKÇE guidance kit can also be used with the BRU-57 smart bomb rack. For this reason, the tail cone and lifting surfaces are designed considering the BRU-57 constraints. In this way, at least four GÖKÇE guidance kits will be carried on a single F-16 sortie. This will provide significant benefits in terms of the operation time, cost, and success.

GÖKÇE guidance kit is planned to have various configurations with different guidance modes according to user needs and cost. In line with this plan, in the first stage, SAGE focuses on the configuration in which the Inertial Navigation System (INS), Global Positioning System (GPS), and Laser guidance systems are used. Following the completion of the work on the INS/GPS/Laser guided main configuration, studies on INS/GPS, INS/Laser, Smart Weapon Network (ASA) integrated, and man-in-the-loop integrated configurations will be carried out.

TÜBİTAK SAGE makes significant investments in localizing critical sub-components used in system projects and spends considerable resources in this regard. SAGE-EGI, which is an integrated INS/GPS navigation system based on Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) developed in this context, will be the primary component of the GÖKÇE guidance kit navigation system. SAGE Konum-01 (Position-01) will be used as the GPS antenna in the GÖKÇE guidance kit, but the system is designed to be compatible with the jam-resistant CRPA antenna. In addition to these features, the CAMGÖZ laser seeker, developed and verified by TÜBİTAK SAGE, will be used within the scope of the GÖKÇE project. Thus, all the navigation system components to be used in the main configuration of the GÖKÇE guidance kit will be products which are developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE. Thanks to the smart weapon network, the GÖKÇE guidance kit will gain critical capabilities such as target update after firing, sharing system parameters with the shooter aircraft or ground stations. Additionally, man-in-the-loop integration will provide important capabilities such as sharing the target image with the pilot or the ground station and target update by using image.

GÖKÇE guidance kit will be able to attack stationary and moving targets with pinpoint accuracy with the help of the CAMGÖZ laser seeker and will be effective against fortifications thanks to the SARB-83T warhead. It is planned that the GÖKÇE Project will be completed after the firing tests to be carried out in 2022, and the new generation guidance kit will be ready to enter the inventory.  

With the GÖKÇE project, which is a product of TÜBİTAK SAGE's expertise in designing, testing, prototyping and integration activities, a new period for guidance kits begins. In this new period, guidance kits that are superior to existing systems in terms of both capability and cost will be introduced using sub-components which are developed as a result of the vision of TÜBİTAK SAGE. Moreover, in this new period, TÜBİTAK SAGE is transforming into an institution that initiates its own internal projects by analyzing the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces and the changing battlefield environment, in addition to its role as a designer in projected systems and undertakes the role of both the designer and manufacturer of these projects. 

GÖZDE

The design and prototype production of the new generation GÖZDE guidance kit, which is developed for the 500 lb. MK-82 series general-purpose bombs, has been completed, and firing tests will begin in September 2021. The GÖZDE guidance kit will be verified after firing tests and will be ready to enter the TurAF inventory in the first quarter of next year. The development and verification processes of the GÖZDE project will be carried out by TÜBİTAK SAGE, and serial production activities will be carried out by ASELSAN. 

At least four GÖZDE guidance kits can be carried in a single sortie with the BRU-57 smart rack used on F-16 platform. In addition to fighter jets, the GÖZDE guidance kit can be used very effectively by new generation UCAVs. The guidance kit will be integrated into Akıncı and Aksungur, allowing multiple bombs to be carried by UCAVs and adding strength to our armed forces with its point strike capability and 15 km+ range. 

Thanks to its modular structure that increases cost efficiency, the Laser Seeker (LS) can be attached and detached under the aircraft, depending on operational requirements. If the LS is not installed, it can be guided by the Inertial Navigation System (INS) and/or Global Positioning System (GPS). GÖZDE guidance kit, which can also operate in non-GPS environments, will be able to eliminate targets with pinpoint accuracy with INS/Laser guidance. In addition, with the GÖZDE new generation guidance kit, with its optimized outer geometry for high-speed moving targets, and the CAMGÖZ Laser Seeker, it will be possible to engage fixed targets as well as moving targets with a speed of 50+ km/h. In addition, thanks to its modular proximity sensor with adjustable height-of-burst (HOB) capability, the GÖZDE guidance kit will significantly increase the lethality of the MK-82 general-purpose bomb