IDEX 2017

Turkish missiles move forward [IDEX17D2]

19 February 2017

Turkish missile specialist Roketsan continues to grow its portfolio of precision weapons and bring new options to the marketplace, as well as expand the number of platforms to which they can be applied.

Recently the company announced that its 8km (5-mile) range Cirit laser-guided rocket is now available with a thermobaric warhead, adding to the multi-purpose (anti-armour, anti-personnel, incendiary) and high-explosive options.

Work also continues apace with a number of new Cirit applications. In the maritime domain, the weapon has been fired from fast patrol boats and corvettes, and continuing development is being undertaken in this arena. The Cirit has also been demonstrated in a number of land applications, both fixed and mobile.

The system has been ordered by an undisclosed export customer in a towed land configuration.

In the air domain, Cirit has been operational for some time on the T-129 Atak and AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters of the Turkish armed forces, and with the Iomax Border Patrol Aircraft operated by the UAE.

Additional integration work is now being undertaken in conjunction with MBDA Germany to clear Cirit for use with the Tiger attack helicopter, while Roketsan has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus Helicopters covering the integration of the weapon with the H135M and H145M light helicopters.

A separate agreement with Airbus Defence and Space covers the possible addition of a Cirit capability to the C295W transport/patrol aircraft.

In the Turkish armed forces T-129 attack helicopter application, the Cirit is partnered with the laser-guided L-UMTAS long-range anti-tank missile. Roketsan has now completed the qualification phase of the imaging infrared version of UMTAS and is preparing for production.

This weapon is initially intended for use from armoured vehicles and from fixed/towed land platforms.

Work is also being performed to integrate the UMTAS with stabilised weapon systems on naval vessels.

Alongside UMTAS, Roketsan is also close to bringing the OMTAS medium-range anti-tank missile system into production. With an effective range of between 200 and 4,000m, OMTAS is a tube-launched weapon for vehicle application.

Although anti-armour is its primary task, it also has capabilities against a variety of other target types. OMTAS offers direct attack and top attack profiles, and can be launched in fire-and-forget or fire-and-update modes. Product and production line qualification is nearing completion.

Experience from the L-UMTAS programme has allowed Roketsan to develop a version tailored for launch from small UAVs, in which SWaP (size, weight and power) factors are critical. MAM-L, also known as Smart Micro Munition, employs the guidance system and warhead of the L-UMTAS missile but lacks the motor, keeping its length down to less than 1m and weight to around 50 lb. Depending on the altitude and speed from which it is dropped, the MAM-L has an effective range of up to 8km.

Roketsan is aiming the MAM-L at a number of airborne platforms, with smaller UAVs being the principal application. The weapon is already integrated and operational with the Bayraktar and Karayel tactical UAVs operated by the Turkish armed forces.

Roketsan’s wide range of missiles and other weapons is on display on Stand 10-B05, including the Teber precision-guided bomb kit in both Mk 81 and Mk 82 configuration, and the SOM and SOM-J long-range stand-off missiles.

(534 words)