Turkey rejects AIM-120s from its F-16s, domestic PEREGRINE comes

ANKARA ($1=17.38 Turkish Liras) — By the end of 2022, Turkey plans to decommission its existing AIM-9 AIM-9X Sidewinder and AIM-120 AMRAAM, air-to-air missiles, replacing them with their locally produced equivalents Merlin [Bozdoğan] Within Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile [WVRAAM] and Peregrine [Gökdoğan] Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile [BVRAAM].

The reason for this decision comes after the US imposed an embargo on the sale of weapons systems to Turkey due to the purchase of the S-400. This forced Ankara to focus its efforts on developing its own equivalents of American weapons technology. However, the decision itself comes at the moment when Turkey was able to conduct a successful fire test of the Peregrine BVRAAM from the F-16 on July 5 this year.

According to some Turkish media, the Peregrine BVRAAM was successfully fired from the wing of a Turkish F-16, and all indicators, effective actions, and final results in terms of the missile’s radar, its guidance, unlocking the target, and hitting the target were performed flawlessly. This is the final phase in the development of the missile and mass production is ahead, Turkish media commented, citing sources from the Turkish Ministry of Defense.

BulgarianMilitary.com recalls that nearly two years ago, the Turkish F-16 tested the effectiveness of the other missile – the Merlin WVRAAM, which is an in-sign version and also met the requirements of the Turkish Air Force.

Certification pending

Turkey rejects AIM-120s from its F-16s, domestic PEREGRINE comes
Photo credit: SavunmaSanayiST.com

By the end of this year, the two missiles are to be certified for the F-16 fighters, the Turkish defense industry says. The comments are positive, especially since it became clear that the production of the two Turkish air-to-air missiles, their integration, and introduction into combat duty would cost the Turkish taxpayers much cheaper if the AIM-9 and AIM-120 missiles were ordered.

Dr. Ismail Demir, Chairman of the Turkish Defense Industry Presidency said: “We will deliver our Bozdoğan and Gökdoğan missiles to the Turkish Armed Forces this year. I salute everyone who contributed to this holiday gift we gave our nation.”

Merlin or Bozdoğan WVRAAM

The Bozdoğan WVRAAM is an In-Sight air-to-air missile equivalent to the US-made AIM-9X. The Bozdoğan WVRAAM, which has a high-resolution infrared seeker, is resistant to electronic warfare. The missile, which has a range of approximately 25 kilometers, can reach 3 times the speed of sound [Mach 3] and has high maneuverability thanks to its vector control. Thanks to its IIR warhead, it is designed to be able to engage even cruise missiles.

Turkey rejects AIM-120s from its F-16s, domestic PEREGRINE comes
Photo credit: YouTube

Peregrine or Gökdoğan BVRAAM

The Gökdoğan BVRAAM is an air-to-air missile equivalent to the US-made AIM-120 AMRAAM. The Peregrine [Gökdoğan] BVRAAM can lock on to multiple targets, lock-on after firing, and fire from all angles. The missile, which is resistant to radio-electronic warfare, can be targeted at the jamming source. The missile, which has a range of approximately 65 kilometers, can update its targets thanks to its data link.

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