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New Generation Technologies that Turkey will Achieve Domestically with the Turkish Fighter Project

Issue 102

In general, “the 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft” concept is primarily defined as having a low Radar Cross-Section (RCS), all-aspect stealth even when armed by carrying their munitions in internal weapons bays, detecting threats from extended distances by using sensor fusion to form a consolidated view of the battlespace with both onboard and networked sensors, providing situation awareness through highly integrated computer systems capable of networking with other elements within the battlespace, using highly-advanced artificial intelligence (AI), self-protection suite with integrated electronic warfare system and super-cruise capable engine technology.

Today, Turkey, Pakistan, China, India, Iran, Japan, Russia, and the USA are carrying out 5th Generation Fighter Jet development programs.

Fundamental elements of the 5th Generation Aircraft:

360-Degree Low Visibility: Especially after the downing of the F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in 1999, it has been understood that low visibility is not possible only with aircraft fuselage shape, reflection, absorption, and paint.

High Maneuverability: It has been evaluated that having Thrust Vectoring and a very high Angle of attack (AOA) capability, which is not available in standard fighter aircraft, may assist in evading hostile missiles or break enemy radar locks.

Self-Learning Artificial Intelligence and Supercomputer Capability: Highly advanced processors and self-learning artificial intelligence capability to fuse the large amount of data collected by various sensors and data-links will be one of the most critical features of 5th generation aircraft in the future.

Software-dependent aircraft development concept: While the most modern F-16 aircraft had fifteen thousand lines of code in 2013, the F-35 plane started with 6.9 million lines of code, and this figure reached 34 million lines in 2020.

When we examine the new technologies that will be acquired with the Turkish Fighter (TF-X) Program, we can see that it will have similar or even higher capabilities compared to the current 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft concepts such as;

Gathering Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) and detecting the location of hostile threats thanks to its special sensors,

Detecting targets and threats from long distances by using electro-optical sensors or radio frequencies,

Providing mission and route planning for all possible threats and air defense weapon systems prior to the flight if they are embedded in the map information of the defined mission area,

Calculating all kinds of attack parameters over digital map data,

Automatically selecting the most effective bomb or munition against the detected targets if the Joint Munitions Manual is installed on the aircraft,

Making decisions with the self-learning artificial intelligence by using the "Information and Data Fusion" techniques,

Sharing all kinds of sensor data with all the allied aircraft in the battlespace thanks to its interactive data link capability,

Target tracking without revealing its presence thanks to the New Generation Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA),

Automatically employing effective jamming or deception methods against enemy radars to maintain low visibility.

The 5th Generation Turkish Fighter Aircraft, which will be produced and programmed domestically and nationally with all its stated features, is a vital project that will provide Turkey with highly critical technologies. In this context, our local companies will undertake significant responsibilities to acquire the necessary skills to accomplish this project.

In this context, as MilSOFT, we developed an avionics application call "Mil-MAYA," which enables the reusability, interoperability, and rapid integration of capabilities that are being developed thanks to the standardized middleware requirements and software interfaces for algorithm developers. Mil-MAYA is intended to be presented for platform providers, system integrators, software developers, and software validators as an integrated solution package that includes the modeling tools and reference architecture required for the avionics software development environment.

Thanks to the outstanding efforts of our domestic defense industry companies, who concentrate their synergy towards a common goal, we wish to see our Turkish Fighter aircraft in the blue skies as soon as possible and we will continue to protect our country under steel wings equipped with the most advanced technology and feel the pride of achieving a national goal.