ANKARA — Turkish missile manufacturer Roketsan has won a contract from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to sell its laser-guided rocket system, known as the Cirit, Turkish officials said. They said the contract is worth $196.2 million, and comes at a time when Turkey seeks to boost its arms exports to gulf countries.
The Emirati Army is the first foreign customer for the Cirit system. The contract was signed during the International Defense Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi between Feb. 17 and 21, officials said.
The Cirit is one of the several programs launched by Turkey to equip the Turkish Army’s T-129 attack helicopters being co-produced with Italy’s Agusta, as well as the AH-1P Cobra and the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, with low-cost precision strike capabilities. The 70mm rocket has a range of eight kilometers.
One Roketsan official said the company developed the Cirit in order to fill the gap between cheap, low-precision, unguided rockets and high-cost, guided anti-tank missiles.
The Cirit is named after a traditional Turkish horseback game where two teams of riders fight a mock battle using wooden javelins. French-German helicopter company Eurocopter selected the Cirit for a test and integration program to equip the Eurocopter EC635.
One procurement official said the Cirit to be delivered to the UAE Army would be tailor-made to meet specific requirements.
“This is a cost-effective system and has potential to be sold to other countries in the (gulf) region,” he said.