Dubai Airshow

Turkish Missile Expertise On Show

 - November 7, 2015, 12:05 AM
Roketsan’s Cirit laser-guided rocket is operational on the UAE’s fleet of Archangel border partrol aircraft. Here at the Dubai Airshow 2015 static display, the company is showing four-round launchers mounted to the airplane’s center wing pylon.

Since last year the UAE Armed Forces have been using the Roketsan Cirit, a 2.75-inch laser-guided rocket. The type has been fielded on the Turkish army’s Bell AH-1W Cobra helicopters, and also on the UAE’s Iomax AT-802i and Archangel border patrol aircraft. Cirit has been used in combat and has also been acquired by Bahrain as part of a modernization package for the Kingdom’s Bell AH-1E Cobras.

Unlike other laser-guided rockets, Cirit is a completely new weapon, rather than employing parts from unguided 2.75-inch rockets. Both motor and warhead meet Type V munition insensitivity requirements against bullet strike and liquid fires.

Roketsan (Stand 636) is also highlighting a number of other new weapons at Dubai, including the Teber precision-guidance bomb kit that was unveiled earlier this year. Applicable to Mk 81 (250-pound) and Mk 82 (500-pound) warheads, Teber is a kit that adds body strakes and a tail-mounted guidance package comprising a computer, inertial guidance system with GPS/GNSS, battery and aerodynamic control surfaces.

Teber also has a semi-active laser guidance seeker in the nose. Three modes of guidance are possible: inertial only, inertial plus GPS, and inertial/GPS and laser. Roketsan claims a CEP (circular error probable) of less than 3 m (10 ft) and a capability against moving targets traveling at speeds of up to 110 km/h (70 mph).

Teber is a weapon that is under consideration for the Archangel armed ISR turboprop single, as is the L-UMTAS laser-guided anti-tank missile developed by Roketsan as the primary armament of the TAI T-129 attack helicopter, and also for the SH-60 Seahawk naval helicopter.

Development and qualification of the laser-guided version were completed earlier this year, with first production deliveries to the Turkish armed forces due for early 2016. Work continues on an imaging infrared-guided variant.

Other weapons being highlighted at Dubai are the SOM and Hisar. SOM (standoff missile) is a 250-km (155-mile) range low-observable weapon that is now fielded on Turkish F-4E/2020 Phantoms and F-16 Block 40s. Roketsan has teamed with Airbus to study integration with the Eurofighter Typhoon, and together with Lockheed Martin is developing the SOM-J version. This version is reconfigured for internal carriage inside the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, as well as external carriage by other types.

Flight tests of SOM-J are scheduled to begin in early 2017, initially from an F-16 test platform, with production slated for 2018. Roketsan is reporting interest in the Gulf region for the SOM.

Hisar is a new air defense system being developed to meet a Turkish requirement for both low- and medium-altitude coverage. Two versions of the missile are being developed, both sharing common guidance and control systems. An imaging infrared seeker is employed, with a datalink for mid-course guidance, and the missiles are highly maneuverable thanks to thrust-vectoring. A dual-pulse rocket motor provides for additional maneuvering energy in the end-game.