Monday, 29 February 2016

DIMDEX 2016 Preview

Tomorrow's Armed Forces' Needs

Roketsan Presents New Defence Solutions

The L-UMTAS long-range anti-tank missile can be integrated on various platforms, including helicopters, light assault aircraft, UAVs, land vehicles, stationary platforms, and naval platforms.
(All photos: Roketsan)

Less than a month to DIMDEX 2016, NAVAL FORCES looks at some of the latest defence solutions Roketsan, one of Turkey’s leading defence equipment manufacturers, will present in Doha. The country’s missile house par excellence offers a bundle of defence systems and solutions military forces need to cover most of today’s and tomorrow’s battlespace requirements. Roketsan announced that it will have on display the CİRİT laser-guided missile; the UMTAS long-range anti-tank missile; the OMTAS medium-range anti-tank missile; the HİSAR air defence missile system; and a completely new Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) rocket and launching system. All of which were originated and supported by the Turkish Ministry of Defence’s SSM (Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı) armament procurement arm.
Also on display is Roketsan’s latest weapon system for agile manoeuvre forces, the Multi-Barrel Artillery Rocket Launching System (MBRLS). It is designed as a fire support system with a “mass lethal fire range” varying between 3km and 100km. MBRLS includes the T-107/122 (107/122mm) and T-122/300 multi-calibre (122/300mm) multi-barrel rocket launchers that are available in wheeled and tracked versions. Another innovation – called TEBER – is described by Roketsan as a new-generation Laser Guided Kit, consisting of a Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker and an Inertial Navigation System (INS) combined with a GPS/GNSS receiver. Roketsan expects growing interest in the TEBER system from Gulf countries.

The shipboard Roketsan ASW weapon system is designed to be used against subsurface targets at ranges varying between 500m and 2,000m.

Exceptional Innovations

Roketsan describes its 2.75” CİRİT laser-guided missile as a “unique all-up round missile” designed to eliminate light armoured stationary and moving targets with high precision and at affordable cost. Although CİRİT is designed for rotary-wing aircraft like the T-129 ATAK Turkish attack helicopter and AH-1W COBRA combat/support helicopter, the weapon has also been adapted to fixed-wing aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and both “stationary and moving land platforms”. CİRİT is a combat-proven system, Roketsan said, and it is the first weapon of this kind to be delivered to allied Armed Forces on the basis of series production contracts. The missile can be deployed from a smart launcher with “various configurations”, depending on customer requirements. Quoting a range of over 10km, the precision-guided weapon contains an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) based on Micro-Electro-Mechanical (MEMS) technology. Additionally, the warhead and rocket motor are insensitive against bullet impacts and liquid fluid fire. Under contract with Tawazun in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), CİRİT has been successfully integrated and is currently being deployed on AT- 802i border patrol aircraft. In addition, integration of the system is ongoing for Bahrain Air Force AH-1E COBRA attack/support helicopters.

The CİRİT laser-guided missile has been delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces in 2012 and to the UAE Armed Forces in 2014.

Another precision-guided weapon Roketsan is promoting in Doha, the UMTAS long-range anti-tank missile system, comes in two versions – one equipped with a laser seeker named L-UMTAS and a follow-up version featuring an imaging infrared (IIR) seeker. Both variants are labelled as “effective against all armoured threats.” According to the manufacturer, the development and qualification of L-UMTAS have been completed in 2015, and the system has demonstrated its capability to engage land targets (when launched from the T-129 ATAK helicopter) and targets at sea when adapted to and launched from the SH-60 SEA HAWK helicopter. With the success of recent test firings, production of the L-UMTAS missile has already been started for the Turkish Armed Forces, with the system scheduled for delivery in early 2016. UMTAS/L-UMTAS is capable of operating in all weather and day/night conditions in Fire-and-Forget and Fire-and-Update modes with a maximum combat range of 8km, according to Roketsan. The system’s Lock-On-Before Launch (LOBL), Lock-On-After Launch (LOAL), and Lock-On-Update capabilities enable the weapon to engage ‘masked’ targets.

SOM-J is offered as an anti-surface stand-off missile for F-35 JSF fighter aircraft.

Also on display is Roketsan’s next-generation Stand-Off Missile (SOM), which is a long-range (250km), fully autonomous Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) featuring low observable (‘stealth’) technologies and both a modern seeker head and warhead to engage highly defended stationary and moving targets on land and at sea. Designed as a version for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), SOM-J is on offer as an “anti-surface stand-off missile” for carriage on the Turkish Air Force’s (TuAF; THK Türk Hava Kuvvetleri) upcoming F-35 fighter aircraft. Roketsan and Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division already signed a contract for aircraft integration. Both companies will jointly develop, produce, market, and support SOM-J for internal carriage on the JSF or external carriage on other aircraft. Roketsan expects flight tests of SOM-J from TuAF F-16 Block 40 fighter aircraft to begin during the first quarter of 2017. Series production is expected to begin in 2018.
Already under series production, the ‘basic’ SOM is already in use with the TuAF, which deploys the weapon from its F-4E/2020 Terminator and F-16 Block 40 fighter aircraft. Roketsan also signed a cooperation agreement with Airbus Defence and Space for integration on the Eurofighter TYPHOON fighter aircraft and other future platforms. Negotiations are also ongoing in the Gulf region.
By Stefan Nitschke

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