Air-Launched Weapons

IDEF 2017: First Turkish air-to-air missiles revealed

11 May 2017
The Merlin (top) and Peregrine (bottom) air-to-air missiles on display at IDEF 2017. Source: IHS Markit/James Bingham

Two indigenous Turkish air-to-air missiles have been revealed by Tübitak Sage at the IDEF 2017 defence exhibition in Istanbul: the first such air-to-air missiles to be developed by the country.

Comprising the within-visual-range missile known as the Gökdogan ('Peregrine') and beyond-visual-range Bozdogan ('Merlin'), the missiles remain in development for the Turkish Air Force.

Peregrine uses a high thrust, reduced smoke solid propellant and electronic arming and firing system, with thrust vectoring providing enhanced manoeuvrability, particularly at close range. The missile uses a high-resolution dual-colour imaging infrared (IIR) seeker with 'advanced' counter-countermeasures and a 'unique' warhead design.

Meanwhile, Merlin also uses a reduced smoke solid propellant, without the thrust vectoring of Peregrine. Also using the same electronic arming and firing system as Peregrine, both Merlin and Peregrine can be used with the LAU-129 missile launcher.

Merlin uses a solid-state radio frequency (RF) seeker, with a 'launch and forget' capability. The missile can also be used in a lock-on after launch mode, with a datalink update from the aircraft also allowing the missile to be updated in flight. As with Peregrine, Merlin uses counter-countermeasures, but can also home on jamming.

Both these missiles have been developed for use on the Turkish Air Force's fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, with ground testing having already taken place.

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