ANKARA — Turkey has successfully completed development of a ground-to-ground missile with a range of 200 kilometers that has now entered the Army inventory, said Nihat Ergunm, the country’s science, industry and technology minister.
“Tubitak [Turkish scientific research organization)] has completed the 200-kilometer stand-off munitions [testing], and the system has entered the inventory of the Army,” Ergun told reporters.
“Now, the next target is 500 kilometers,” he said. “We have the technology to develop this missile. It finds the target making use of the GPS technology and ground maps.”
Tubitak officials said earlier this year that the country’s High Board of Technology was developing capabilities in this area following a request from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In addition to hosting a NATO radar to detect an early launch of long-range missiles by a rogue state, Turkey seems committed to boosting its local missile-related industry.
Last year, Turkey’s largest defense company, Aselsan, penned an approximately $1 billion contract to sell low- and medium-altitude air defense systems to the Turkish military. This is the largest single contract awarded to a local company in recent years. Under the contract, Aselsan will develop all radar, fire control, command-and-control and communication systems for both the low- and medium-altitude components of the program. Missile heads and data links will also be developed by Aselsan.
There is also an international tender to buy the country’s first long-range air and missile defense system, worth $4 billion.
A U.S. partnership of Raytheon and Lockheed Martin is competing for the Turkish contest with Patriot air and missile defense systems. Other competitors are the Italian-French Eurosam, proposing its SAMP/T Aster 30; Russia’s Rosoboronexport, marketing the S300; and China’s Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp., offering its HQ-9.