Qualification Tests of HGK-83 Ammunition Completed Successfully!

Tarih: Issue 98 - April 2020

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR made a public statement saying that the qualification tests of the HGK-83 ammunition had been successfully completed and the ammunition is ready for mass production, through the video he shared on his twitter account on January 22, 2020.

HGK-83 is a GPS/INS guidance kit that turns existing 1,000 lb Mk-83 general purpose bombs into air to ground smart weapons which can be released in multiples by using the BRU-57 multiple-weapons carriage system.

What is a Precision Guidance Kit? 

A Precision Guidance Kit (PGK) is the guidance package that converts general purpose bombs (Mk-84) into smart weapons.  A PGK basically consists of the control drive system on the tail side, the GPS/INS guidance control unit and the overall liner.

A PGK, which can be released from the F-4E/2020s and F-16s in the inventory of the Turkish Air Force, can be used in almost every weather condition and hit targets at a range of 15 nm.

Mission information that includes the target point and hit parameters of the PGK is uploaded to the aircraft while the aircraft is on the ground. During the captive carriage, the weapon automatically performs initialization as soon as the aircraft powers the weapon and matches its own navigation system with that of the aircraft. Mission data is automatically transferred from the aircraft to the weapon before shooting. When the release point is reached during the shooting, the aircraft releases ammunition. After leaving the aircraft, the guidance system of the ammunition is activated and takes the bomb to the target under any weather condition. In case any GPS signal loss for any reason after it is released from the aircraft, the INS system is activated and hits the target successfully through only INS mode performance.

The PGK guidance kit family, which converts 500lb Mk-82, 1,000lb Mk-83 and 2,000lb Mk-84 general purpose bombs into air to ground smart weapons with the INS/GPS guidance system, is named HGK-82, HGK-83 and HGK-84.

PGK activities were first started in 2001, and the certification of the HGK-84, developed by TÜBİTAK-SAGE with national facilities, to F-4E/2020 aircraft was completed in 2005. Afterwards, it has been used by the Turkish Air Force in many operations and continues to be used as needed. Certification of PGK to the F-16 aircraft in the Turkish Air Force inventory was achieved in 2013. In 2014, it was selected by the NATO working group for the UAI (Universal Armament Interface) demonstration and was successfully released from a UAI-compliant U.S. F-16 aircraft. With the project signed with the MoND, the mass production of the HGK-84 as started by Aselsan in 2014 and more than 1,500 deliveries have been made so far. On the other hand, in order to be used effectively against moving targets, the HGK-84 was also equipped with the Laser Seeker feature, and the nationalization efforts to eliminate the foreign dependency on the sub-parts of the HGK-84, which has a great export potential, will continue.

On the other hand, the development and certification tests of the HGK-82 were completed at the beginning of 2018 and the first delivery was made to the Air Force command on October 31, 2018. Following this delivery, during the test fire on November 2, 2018, the HGK-82 successfully hit the target 17 kilometers away at 37,500 feet.  This test was realized at the Konya Karapınar Firing Test and Evaluation Center where the Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa VARANK was present. In the statement made by TÜBİTAK-SAGE on August 9, 2019, it was announced that the Air Force Command performed 4 more operational test fires under challenging conditions and that the HGK-82 became operational.

Within the scope of the projects aiming to minimize foreign dependency and increase indigenization, the active GPS antenna developed by TÜBİTAK-SAGE for use in smart ammunition and operating at L1/L2 bands has completed all development tests including firing tests, and another progress has been achieved for indigenization in this field to reduce foreign dependency. On the other hand, “KAŞİF”, the Local Global Positioning System receiver to be used in HGK kits, was first exhibited at the TÜBİTAK-SAGE booth at the IDEF'19 Fair. Additionally, the production of MARK series Mk-81, Mk-82, Mk-83 and Mk-84 General-Purpose Bomb body and tail units is also performed in Turkey as domestic production by the company ASSAN.