No more Safran engines, Turkey puts its own on cruise missiles
ANKARA ($1=18.27 Turkish Liras) — Turkey solved a serious problem that prevented the export of weapons systems. The first Turkish cruise missile was powered by Safran’s French TR40 engine. However, the Turkish company Kale Arge has developed the turbojet KTJ-3200, which will immediately replace the French in the SOM cruise missile.
- Turkish Navy received a new naval reconnaissance-attack UAV
- Turkish TF-6000 engine will power Kizilelma UCAV up to Mach 2 speed
- Turkey tested an indigenous long-range SIPER missile defense system
The use of the French engine in the inventory of the Turkish armed forces was not a problem. The problem was political disagreements between France and Turkey, which prevented Ankara from exporting its SOM cruise missile. When this problem is already overcome, Azerbaijan, the first customer of SOM, will be able to receive the desired quantity of cruise missiles.
Azerbaijan has wanted to acquire Turkey’s SOM cruise missile for years. An agreement was recently reached between Ankara and Baku on the sale of the missile. Even at the 2018 parade in Baku, a model of the Turkish cruise missile was presented as part of the Azerbaijani armament.
Turkey is already expecting an increasing pace of the SOM cruise missile. The KTJ-3200 turbojet engine also enters serial production. Roketsan has promised rapid production of the rocket. Thus, Azerbaijan will receive the desired amount of cruise missiles on time. Sources from Turkey claim that there are currently 400 requests for the purchase of the SOM cruise missile. If the information turns out to be true, the production lines will be engaged tightly until at least the end of 2023.
The SOM cruise missile
For years, the Turkish defense industry has needed its own medium-range cruise missile. The development of SOM started back in 2006 under the leadership of Tubitak Sage.
The rocket has a flexible modular structure and an open system. This makes it suitable for developing different variants with different operational capabilities and flexibility.
The warhead of the missile is 230 kg, while the total weight of the entire configuration is just over 600 kg. The missile is 4 meters long, and the operational range is over 250 km. Turkish sources say that Roketsan, the manufacturer of the missile, is currently working on different variants, such as SOM-B2, SOM-C1, SOM-C2, and SOM-J.
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