According to the information shared at the 9th Air and Avionic Systems Seminar held in Ankara, the electro-optical imaging systems of MELTEM type maritime patrol aircraft in the inventory of the Naval Forces Command will be replaced with the domestic F-500C electro-optical system.
The Meltem II program, which came into effect in September 2002, is aimed at providing Maritime Patrol (MPA) and Maritime Surveillance (MSA) capabilities to 9 CN-235 platforms produced in TAI for the Naval Forces Command (Navigation Command) and the Coast Guard Command (SGK). It was a system integration project.
The "Meltem III" Project, which was signed in July 2012 and covers the conversion of 6 ATR72-600 aircraft to Maritime Patrol Aircraft, was carried out under the main and TAI subcontractor of the Italian Leonardo company for the needs of the Naval Air Force. When the deliveries are completed, 3 P-6 DKUs and 72 C-3s will be added to the inventory within the scope of MELTEM-72.
The CN-235 and P-72 maritime patrol aircraft, which were procured within the scope of MELTEM projects and included in the inventory of the Naval Forces Command, use ASELSAN's ASELFLIR-200T electro-optical reconnaissance and surveillance system. It is planned to replace the ASELFLIR-200T systems on MELTEM platforms, as the ability to make clear reconnaissance at much greater distances has been achieved with the new generation electro-optical systems.
Although it was proposed to replace the ASELFLIR-200Ts with the newer generation CATS system, it was considered that CATS would not be suitable and it was decided to replace them with the F-500C system, which is still under development. Although it is stated that improvements have been made regarding CATS, which has turned its attention after the embargo on the camera systems of UAVs, it is stated that the ASELSAN CATS system, which is said to have entered mass production in 2017 but has not been on the field for years, is still not liked.
The issue of changing the imaging systems of the S-70B SeaHawk helicopters in the Naval KK inventory was also on the agenda in the past. In this context, Star Safire 380, a foreign product, was tested and evaluated. In the information shared to Defense Turk in 2018, it was stated that CATS would also be tested and evaluated, but there was no development in that project either.