The Turkish defence electronics producer Aselsan announced that it signed onto a business partnership with fellow Turkish companies Roketsan and TÜBİTAK SAGE to implement the long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system commissioned by Turkey’s Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM).
In a disclosure released for the Istanbul stock exchange Borsa Istanbul (BIST), Aselsan’s share under the partnership would be $227 million and $342 million U.S. Deliveries are to begin in 2021.
This follows the SSM awarding a contract on January 05 to Aselsan, Roketsan and the Eurosam Consortium to jointly undertake a definition study for Turkey’s national long-range SAM program within 18 months.
Aselsan is Turkey’s primary defence electronics vendor (along with Havelsan), while Roketsan is primarily a munitions maker though it has expertise in ballistic armour and materials. TÜBİTAK SAGE (i.e. Defence Industries Research and Development Institute) is a research and development institute with competency in munitions development, most recently Turkey’s new air-to-air missiles.
The Turkish long-range SAM is expected to interoperate with NATO’s air defence umbrella and equip the Turkish Navy’s future anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate, the TF-2000. The Turkish-French-Italian partnership is also hopeful of exporting the long-range SAM program to third-party states.
Aselsan and Roketsan are also developing a short and medium-range SAM system platform – the HİSAR-A and HİSAR-O, which have ranges of 15 km and 25 km, respectively. The HİSAR use solid-propellant dual-pulse rockets with mid-course inertial navigation systems and terminal-stage imaging infrared seekers.
Turkey is expected to use the HİSAR in concert with its Korkut self-propelled anti-air gun, which uses three twin-35-mm cannons paired to a command and control vehicle.
Pairing the Korkut to the HİSAR and Aselsan Mobile Search Radar, an active electronically-scanned array radar with an instrumented range of 70+ km, could yield a robust and mobile low-level air defence suite.
In December 2017, Aselsan signed a $413.27 million U.S. deal with the SSM to supply a short-range, low-altitude air defence system to the Turkish Armed Forces. Deliveries will take place in 2019-2022.
In terms of long-range SAM systems, Turkey also signed a deal with Russia for the S-400 in 2017. The $2.5 billion U.S. purchase includes one S-400 system along with an option for a second system. In addition to a down-payment from Ankara, the deal is also being backed by a loan from Moscow.