One of the most crucial needs of the Turkish Naval Forces Command, the TF-2000 Aerial Defense Destroyer’s main sensor, the Multi Purpose Phased-Array Radar system (ÇAFRAD) is on the agenda once more due to claims made regarding the projects started for its domestic production.
“TF-2000 does not await ÇAFRAD. ÇAFRAD awaits TF-2000.”
For a long time it was stated that for the armament of TF-2000, most details of the destroyer’s design were halted due to ÇAFRAD project. But latest claims point out that it is in fact the opposite, and there are a variety of new developments in TF-2000 project that are expected for the Phase Two of ÇAFRAD project. In addition, ÇAFRAD’s Phase One tests were completed, as reported by the Ministry of Defence Industries back in Februrary 2019.
As ÇAFRAD’s weight, center of gravity and dimensions will be exclusively designed for TF-2000, Phase Two has to be approved by the Defence Industry Executive Committee (SSİK) at the same time with TF-2000 project. As a result, significant developments in TF-2000 are also expected.
TF-2000 is very crucial for its area defense capabilities, long-range cruising and fundemental role in TCG ANADOLU Multi Purpose Amphibious Attack Naval Force.
ÇAFRAD Project Phase One saw the development of IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems with the Multifunction Radar (MFR) and one dimensional scaled prototype of the Illumination Radar (IR). ÇAFRAD test group set sail as integrated onto Gabya-class frigate TCG Göksu’s helicopter landing pad on November 24, 2018 and tests were concluded in the first quarter of 2019. Between December 11th and 14th 2018, during the tests conducted on the Black Sea, ÇAFRAD-guided Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) air defense missile successfully hit ŞİMŞEK High Speed Targeting Airplane Systems manufactured by TAI.
On Phase Two, multidimensional MFR and IR, as well as the Long Range Radar (LRR) are expected to be developed and procuded and then, all systems are to integrated along with the IFF system.
In ÇAFRAD, the radar used under Early Warning Radar Systems (EIRS) will be utilized as LRR. As reported previously by Defence Turk, EIRS project’s previous successful tests are still ongoing with the addition of more test phases. The system is expected to be completed on January 2021. Thus, even though Phase One features no LRR, ÇAFRAD’s LRR system will be ready before Phase Two begins.
Already on the ÇAFRAD prototypes, the gallium-arsenide (GaAs) will be replaced by gallium-nitride (GaN) in Phase Two. With the upcoming Phase Two, ÇAFRAD’s gallium-nitride (GaN) T/R (Transfer/Receive) modules will be produced by AB-MikroNano in a collaboration by ASELSAN and Bilkent University.
ÇAFRAD combines unique solutions with latest technologies thjrough solid transfer/receive modules, advanced Digital Signal Processing architecture, impulse tampering, multi target tracking, electronic beam stabilisation, short reaction time and advanced electronic protection techniques.
With the Active Electronic Phase Scan (AESA) of ÇAFRAD, many radars can be used within its structure together as well as used seperately for different purposes all at once. Its radars can also be rescaled to be intergrated into different platforms. These aspects help ÇAFRAD answer various radar-related needs of Turkish Armed Forces.
Importance of ÇAFRAD
Regarding the defence of territorial waters, defence of the Turkish soil from naval threats, to achieve mid-scale global power goals as stated in the Turkish Naval Forces Command Strategic Declaration and detecting, identifying and stopping any threats from a long distance, TF-2000 and the capabilities of ÇAFRAD are of great importance.