Selex ES: Ready to Partner with Turkey for Electronic Warfare

Defence Turkey recently vis

Tarih: Issue 47 - November 2013

Selex ES is the largest supplier of airborne Electronic Warfare (EW) equipment in Europe, and third in the world. The company was also the first ever to provide an integrated defensive/offensive electronic warfare system, the Zeus self-protection system for British Harriers. Today, as the company readies to celebrate the 100th year of electronic warfare in 2014, Selex ES uses its EW expertise to gather electronic intelligence and to protect current generation platforms like the Eurofighter Typhoon and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter

Experience in Turkey

Selex ES has been in Turkey for over 30 years, mostly in the naval and airborne domains, but also in air and vessel traffic control. The three legacy companies that came together in January 2013 to form Selex ES (Selex Galileo, Selex Elsag and Selex Sistemi Integrati) have all had significant opportunities in Turkey and Selex ES’s in-country subsidiary, Selex ES Elektronik Turkey S.A., has been operating in Ankara since 1989. The company employs around 60 highly-skilled personnel and supplies circuit boards and soldered components to most defence contractors in Turkey as well as abroad. 

In the nineties, Selex Elektronik manufactured and delivered thousands of secure HF radios for the Turkish Armed Forces; today, it is an important global supplier, having extended its range of products and system solutions for land, naval and air applications. Within the Turkish GENESIS programme, the internal communication systems of the Turkish Navy’s Frigates are being modernised by Selex Elektronik Turkey.


Selex ES with Turkey: Partnerships and Collaborations

“The defence industry in Turkey is strong, and has many similarities with the UK, making it an ideal potential customer and partner for electronic warfare technology.” said Peter Forrest, referencing Selex ES’s international strategy of partnering with the local defence industry in key countries to develop and offer advanced technology. “At Selex ES, we’re keen to develop our presence in-country through partnerships and collaborations, not only to respond to internal requirements but also to work jointly on export opportunities.” 

By working with Turkish Industry, particularly Foundation Companies, Selex ES is aiming to create the best solutions, including integrated Electronic Warfare systems and technologies, for Turkish domestic programmes. By offering products, services or capabilities that are unique, Selex ES can also improve the Foundation Companies’ capabilities and identify products, services or capabilities that Turkish Industry and Selex ES can jointly offer at a national and international level. “The emergence of small to medium-sized domestic companies in the Turkish defence market will provide us with further opportunities for collaboration that we will look to turn into long term relationships as the companies grow.” said Forrest. 


Turkey has a number of indigenous aircraft programmes - fixed and rotary wing - and currently Selex ES is discussing with Turkey’s industrial leaders, such as TAI, Aselsan and Havelsan, as to how a joint development programme might provide the equipment/systems which will use enhanced avionics to respond successfully to the next decade of operational capability requirements.


Electronic Warfare: A Game Changer

Electronic warfare technology is one of the most important protection and intelligence gathering capabilities available to a country’s armed forces and Selex ES has developed some of the most advanced of these. For example, the company leads the EuroDASS consortium which produces the Eurofighter Typhoon’s Praetorian electronic warfare system. This sophisticated and integrated ESM-ECM and missile warning system can protect pilots from advanced threats. Pete Forrest commented on the benefits that such technology provides for export sales campaigns, saying “The Praetorian system has made the Eurofighter a strong contender for a number of export opportunities with Malaysia and the UAE currently considering the aircraft; its electronic warfare capabilities are a strong selling point for the fighter jet.” 

Also with great potential for wide-ranging export sales is the Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids System (HIDAS) that Selex ES developed for the UK’s AH-64 Apache attack helicopter fleet. It comprises the Selex ES Sky Guardian 2000 radar warning receiver and Series 1223 laser warner, plus a third party missile warning system and countermeasures dispensing system. The UK, Greece and Kuwait are all operating HIDAS-equipped Apaches.

Also very successful is the key electronic ‘heart’ of the HIDAS system, the Aircraft Gateway Processor (AGP); a defensive aids controller with multiple interfaces onto which replacement or additional hardware can be integrated without the need to modify the host platform’s software. Boeing has adopted the AGP as a standard fit ‘A Kit’ for all new build Apaches.


Gaining success in RF Electronic Warfare

Mindful of the need to protect an increasing range of aircraft such as those providing border surveillance, plus the strong growth in UAVs, Selex ES has developed a compact Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system named SAGE, and a lightweight Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) named SEER. 

“Our family of radio frequency EW equipment for fixed and rotary-wing platforms are gaining momentum in the market, with our new generation SEER digital RWR securing its first order at the beginning of 2013.” said Forrest. In standard form weighing less than 11kg (24lb) and suitable for installation on platforms ranging in size from fighter aircraft to large transport aircraft, SEER can detect and identify radar emitters from what Forrest calls a “tactically significant” range.

Nearing full-scale production, SEER flight trials continue to take place with customers from around the world, with varying platforms and requirements demonstrating the superior performance of such an advanced RWR - which is available now at a low price for the capability it delivers.

Selex ES has also secured a launch customer for its SAGE digital ESM system, on a rotary-wing naval platform in south-east Asia. Peter Forrest talked about the impressive benefits of the new product; “We’re particularly proud of the SAGE ESM, it can give customers the ability to passively locate RF emitters, for example enemy air defence radars, with just a single platform. We’ve demonstrated the ability of SAGE to geo-locate and identify an emitter from a range of 55nm (102km) to within a 0.1nm accuracy. We’ve received interest from several potential customers for use with aircraft types ranging from UAVs to maritime patrol aircraft and production of SAGE is due to start in early 2014.”


Making EW equipment perform at its peak

Selex ES recognises that key to the successful operation of any Electronic Warfare system is the ability to re-program the equipment based on the operations it is being used for. “Without this ability, armed forces will not be able to update their EW equipment in response to new and unknown threats.” said Forrest, adding; “Only if mission data is correct can an EW system correctly identify a threat and choose the right tactic or countermeasure.” 

To help customers ensure that their systems are kept up to date, Selex ES provides EW Operational Support (EWOS). Defence Turkey was invited to Selex ES’s dedicated facility for EWOS in Lincoln in the United Kingdom – the first time that the facility had been opened to the media. The nearby UK Royal Air Force base has spent the last 40 years developing its EWOS capabilities and some of the experts involved have now been hired by Selex ES to help bring these capabilities to export countries such as Turkey. Defence Turkey was able to speak to one of the experts, Wynne Davies, who explained the EWOS concept;

“One significant aspect of EWOS involves the programming of the electronic warfare hardware elements so that they are optimised to identify and respond to the emitters and threats that are likely to be encountered during a particular mission, and in a particular region” said Davies, adding; “At Selex ES, we’ve developed a sophisticated EWOS process that can react rapidly to emerging threats by devising counters and quickly reprogramming the hardware. The hardware is reconfigured through the uploading of new software-based ‘mission data sets’.”

Selex ES is currently expanding its portfolio of customers for the delivery of EWOS services. Peter Forrest commented on the current state of the market; “We’re currently under contract to provide EWOS training to nine major customers including the UK, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Kuwait, through our Lincoln and other company’s or customer facilities, especially in the Middle East.” Forrest finished by mentioning the recent successful completion of Selex ES’s EWOS training of Kuwait Air Force personnel; “We’ve just completed the delivery of training on their AH-64 Apache HIDAS systems which means that the Kuwait Air Force now has a number of qualified EWOS experts. It’s the kind of sovereign capability that we want to help our export customers create and we’re looking forward to potentially working with Turkey in the future.”

Selex ES is a global business, with a workforce of approximately 17,700, revenues in excess of 3.5 Billion Euros, main operations in the UK and Italy and a strong industrial and commercial footprint in the US, Germany, Turkey, Romania, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and India. Selex ES intend to develop and increase its market share in domestic and priority countries by providing its unique expertise and technologies in the air, land, sea, security and civil domains. The organisation of the company reflects this position through the creation of three main divisions, each focused on a specific market and customer; Airborne and Space Systems, Land and Naval systems and Security and Smart systems. The company’s Electronic Warfare expertise is based within the Airborne and Space Systems Division.