Turkey unveils its own ramjet and aims at hypersonic missiles

ANKARA, ($1=14.82 Turkish Liras) — Tubitak Sage [TUBITAK Defense Industries Research and Development Institute, shortly Tubitak Sage] director Gurcan Okumus announced that the next steps in this will be supersonic and hypersonic missile systems, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing SavunmaSanayiST.com.

Turkey unveils airbreathing ramjet and aims at hypersonic missiles
Photo credit: Wikipedia

Answering the questions of SavunmaSanayiST.com, Tubitak Sage director Gurcan Okumus made statements about the objectives of Tubitak Sage. Okumus announced that their next goal is to develop supersonic and hypersonic missiles.

In the statement made by Gurcan Okumus on the subject, he said that Tubitak Sage will reveal the first working engine this year in the RamJet project and it will raise TRL [technological readiness level]. “We are at an earlier stage at ScramJet and we have a project running at the conceptual level. This process is supported by doctoral studies,” Okumus said.

“Our High-Speed ​​Wind Tunnel investment continues. Our wind tunnel will be ‘Trisonic’. We will be able to perform tests at subsonic, supersonic, and transonic speeds. Currently, we call it Tubitak Sage Trisonic Tunnel [TSTT]. Our goal is to start blowing the first blows in 2023 and to start operating as an official and commercial test in 2024.

Brazil’s Gripen fighters received the best air-to-air missiles
Photo credit: Wikipedia

As the fruit of all these efforts, our next step will be in high supersonic and hypersonic systems. Infrastructure is getting to the level we want and hypersonic missiles will be our main focus from now on”, Okumus also said.

Supersonic and hypersonic missiles

Missiles such as Som and Atmaca developed by Turkey cruise at the high subsonic speed [high-subsonic]. Turkey does not have an air/surface-to-surface missile with supersonic [Mach > 1] and hypersonic (Mach >5) speeds. However, it is estimated that such missile systems will be put into service in the short term.

Turkey unveils airbreathing ramjet and aims at hypersonic missiles
Photo credit: TRT World

Extremely fast-moving supersonic and hypersonic missiles are critical as they allow very little reaction time to the target. There is a prevailing opinion that hypersonic missiles, which are a new trend, cannot be eliminated by existing air defense systems.

The hypersonic missile in the MIT report

The tendency of Hypersonic Missiles to become widespread in the recent period has also drawn the attention of the Presidency of the National Intelligence Organization.

The following statements are included in MIT’s 2021 annual report: “In addition to the classical threats, new threat areas emerge with the evolution and change of these threats. For example, accelerating hypersonic missile tests, developing cyber technology, competition in space, cyber-attacks, new risk areas brought by virtual reality and far-right movements came to the fore in 2021.”

What is a hypersonic missile?

Hypersonic missiles, which are being developed by various countries, are missiles with a flight speed of Mach 5 and higher. Hypersonic missiles that can carry nuclear and conventional warheads cannot be prevented by any air/missile defense system due to their high speed. For this reason, countries have focused on hypersonic missile studies.

Russia's MiG-31K interceptor jet carried out a test of the Kinjal hypersonic missile
The current Russian interceptor MiG-31, Photo credit: Sputnik News

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