Aselsan recently secured a $24.9 million U.S. order for an undisclosed number of ASELPOD electro-optical targeting pods. Aselsan registered the sale with the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on May 26, 2017.
Turkish news publishers, such as the Daily Sabah, have reported that the customer is Pakistan, which made a $25 million order for ASELPOD targeting pods in June 2016.
The Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) listed the 2016 order in its 2015-2016 yearbook as a $24.9 million order for eight pods for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).
At Pakistan’s biennial defence exhibition IDEAS in November 2016, Aselsan officials confirmed that the company delivered its first batch of ASELPOD pods to PAF. The company also confirmed that it was in talks with the PAF for additional ASELPOD pods.
The ASELPOD will enable the PAF’s JF-17s to deploy laser-guided bombs by having the ASELPOD illuminate targets with a laser designator. The ASELPOD can also provide geo-location coordinates, which can be primed to INS/GPS precision-guided bombs, such as the Range Extension Kit (REK). In theory, it could also enable the JF-17 to effectively use laser-guided missiles, provided the PAF pursues such munitions.
Aselsan is establishing itself as one of Pakistan’s leading defence suppliers.
Since 2013, it has supplied Pakistan with software defined radios and remote-controlled weapon stations (RWS). Along with the ASELPOD, in 2016 Aselsan also secured a contract to supply the ARES-2SC/NS electronic support measures (ESM) system for the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B submarines.
Currently, Aselsan is vying to outfit the Pakistan Army’s al-Khalid 2 main battle tank (MBT) with its electro-optical, communications and other electronics equipment. It is also pitching the Korkut self-propelled anti-air gun to the Pakistan Army. The Pakistan Navy’s MILGEM Ada corvette acquisition will likely see the inclusion of Aselsan systems, such as ESM, sonar and RWS, among others. The T129 attack helicopter, which Pakistan is reportedly interested in acquiring, is also equipped with major Aselsan subsystems, such as electro-optical sensors, avionics and countermeasures.