Turkey’s leading munitions maker Roketsan successfully test-fired its HİSAR-O medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.
The Turkish state-owned news agency Anadolu Agency reported that the test was done in Aksaray in central Turkey on Saturday, 03 December.
Roketsan’s test was witnessed by Turkey’s Minister of National Defence, Fikri Işık, who praised Aselsan, Roketsan, and Havelsan for their collaborative efforts and success in the HİSAR SAM program.
As per Roketsan, the HİSAR-O is capable of reaching 25 km and was designed to defend critical assets from aerial threats such as combat aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles, among others.
The HİSAR-O is powered by a dual-pulse solid-propellant rocket. The HİSAR-O’s guidance suite is comprised of an inertial navigation system (INS) supported by mid-course guidance corrections from a surface radar via data-link. Once close enough to the target, the HİSAR switches to its imaging infrared (IIR) seeker.
The Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) commissioned the development of the HİSAR under the T-LALAMIDS and T-MALAMIDS (for short and medium-range SAM, respectively) in 2011. The development cost of the short-range HİSAR-A (15 km) and HİSAR-O (25 km) is reportedly $332 million U.S. and $255 million U.S., respectively (TR Defence).
Aselsan was tasked to develop and produce the radar, command and control, and fire control systems, while Roketsan was responsible for the development of the missile and its propulsion.
The HİSAR-A short-range SAM was tested in 2013 and is slotted to enter service in 2017 (IHS Jane’s). The HİSAR-O is expected to enter service with the Turkish armed forces in 2020 (Daily Sabah).
Notes & Comments:
The HİSAR-series is a component of Turkey’s wider effort to domestically source defence systems. Ankara’s rationale for the course was to mitigate potential (and previously felt) challenges to both modernizing its armed forces and ensuring a stable supply-chain in times of crisis or international tension.
This sentiment was summarized by Turkish’s Defence Minister, Fikri Işık (Daily Sabah):
“Some countries that we consider as friends have the habit of limiting, enforcing an embargo even when we face the slightest problem. That is why we have the aim to have all the critical technologies, developing them and becoming one of the few countries that does so.”
Considering the substantial upfront investment made in bringing the HİSAR-A and HİSAR-O to fruition, it would be natural to consider the HİSAR a long-term effort, one that could accrue improvements. SSM has issued a tender calling for the development of short, medium, and long-range SAM systems for use on the TF-2000 frigate program. The HİSAR could figure prominently in this program, which would make sense given that it would scale substantial investment made in the program to-date.
In November, the head of SSM Dr. İsmail Demir confirmed Ankara’s intention to domestically develop a long-range SAM system. However, it will also be seeking a system off-the-shelf, and SSM could potentially link that program to its domestic program via transfer-of-technology.