Turkey’s Stand-Off Missile is revealed
Tübitak-SAGE, the defence industries research and development institute of Turkey’s scientific and technological research council, has unveiled the Stand-Off Missile (SOM) on its stand at DSEi (N7-168). Last month, this major weapon programme successfully conducted its first guided flight.
SOM has been in development by Tübitak- SAGE since 2006, and following extensive wind tunnel and systems tests – followed by captive-carry and release trials – made its first guided flight on 9 August. Flying over the Black Sea, the SOM covered more than 100 nautical miles using GPS/ INS guidance. A campaign of about 30 test flights is to be conducted to assess aspects of the missile’s design.
SOM is a 1,300 lb stealthy cruise missile offering a variety of programmable ingress and attack profiles. Midcourse guidance is accomplished by GPS/ INS, with terrain reference updates.
Furthermore, the missile’s imaging infrared seeker can also be used to provide image-based midcourse navigation by taking snapshots of waypoints and comparing them against predicted position to update the navigation system. Infrared and terrain updates allow the missile to navigate without GPS if that capability is denied or degraded.
The IR seeker provides terminal guidance using target auto-tracking, and the weapon can be programmed to attack at various angles to match the required effects.
The warhead weighs 500 lb. SOM has a two-way datalink that allows in-flight retasking, and it is networkenabled. With the exception of the French Microturbo engine, the major elements of SOM are of Turkish design, including the high-resolution imaging infrared seeker.
Tübitak-SAGE has also developed a mission planning system for the SOM. This is common with that required for the HGK, a GPS/INSguided bomb kit for Mk 84 bombs that the institute has also developed and tested for the Turkish air force. Both HGK and SOM are compatible with NATO’s universal armaments interface.
Initial development work on SOM is being undertaken using the F-4E 2020 upgraded Phantom operated by the Turkish Air Force, but around the turn of the year work will begin on integrating the weapon onto the F-16, which is Turkey’s most numerous fighter.
SOM would also likely be included in any indigenous Turkish fighter development, but perhaps the big prize is the F-35 JSF that Turkey will operate. Tübitak-SAGE has sized the SOM to the internal bays of the Joint Strike Fighter, although the four rear fins will have to fold to fit the missile into the bay.
As befits its role as a design institute, Tübitak- SAGE produces only prototypes and development items, and does not have the capacity for mass production.
Turkey has not yet finalised production plans for the SOM, although an announcement is expected next year.