Excellence Center of Munition & Missiles - Roketsan

Date: Issue 101 - November 2020

Being among the top 100 global companies in the defense industry, Roketsan opened the doors of its Lalahan Facility to the press for the first time. With the participation of President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, the latest technological developments were shared with the press and followed by a Q&A session.

President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR, Roketsan Chairman of the Board Dr. Faruk YİĞİT, Vice President of the Board Musa ŞAHİN and Roketsan CEO Murat İKİNCİ attended the press conference at the Lalahan Facility.

Giving the opening speech at the press meeting, Roketsan Chairman of the Board Dr. Faruk YİĞİT stated that Roketsan is a company that designs and produces high technology. “The average added value of products that Turkey exports is around US$ 1.25 per kilogram. The added value of the products we produce as Roketsan is around US$ 2000-2500 per kilogram. We are proud to contribute to our country's economy with high added-value products.” 

Sharing information at the press meeting about the unique turbojet engines intended to be utilized in ATMACA and other cruise missiles, President of Defense Industries Prof. DEMİR underlined that the KTJ-3200 developed by KALE Group will be in service as of 2021. “We will start the serial production with the engines we have for the first flight of our cruise missile engine, there are a few more steps related to the qualification on the system, but next year we will see that the unique KTJ-3200 engine, developed by KALE Group, is to be used on the system. When the use of available ready engines expires, the indigenous engine will be ready to use.”

Prof. DEMİR also gave information about the Leopard modernization program. Prof. DEMİR expressed that Aselsan and Roketsan will team up within the scope of the Leopard modernization program to upgrade the existing capabilities of the tanks.

Prof. DEMİR: “TRLG-230 Guided Artillery Munition has Export Potential”

Providing information about the TRLG-230 guided artillery munition system, Prof. DEMİR stated that the system has important export potential thanks to the existing capabilities. Prof. DEMİR: “Any country requesting to purchase the TRLG-230 is actually our target market. It is a quite critical capability; in a sense, you gain a new power, you achieve a very precise strike capability at a long range. Today, our UAVs intend to carry more munitions and more payloads, and we can hit the designated target with high precision from a very long distance thanks to the TRLG. Regarding the TRLG-230, we are also working on a system that will be launched not only from Ground-to-Ground but also from Surface Platforms, and we can say that it will take its place in the field as a force multiplier.”

Touching on the identification study conducted with the EUROSAM consortium, Prof. DEMİR said the following about the procurement of the SAMP-T system, which has recently become a current issue again. “Actually, there is no new development regarding the SAMP-T. We intended to carry out an identification study with EUROSAM. We would determine the requirements of Italy, France and Turkey and would build a roadmap toward joint production. This identification study has been completed, and at the signing stage, there were some drawbacks but later they were resolved. The most important stage is the next one. The SAMP-T Unit’s deploy to Turkey, which has come on the agenda from time to time, could be possible if we would receive a positive response, we deem appropriate from the counter party, but no development has been achieved in the negotiations. As we stated previously, no direct procurement of a SAMP-T battery is currently on our agenda. We had a 4-5-stage roadmap consisting of joint development and joint production, which we discussed about five years ago, and other procurement issues can be brought up provided that this roadmap is followed. However, direct procurement is not currently on our agenda. If the partners could conform to the roadmap, there would be progress.”

Expressing that Roketsan continues its efforts on Ballistic Missile development, Prof. DEMİR stated that they do not intend to cooperate with any other country in this field: “We are not eager to cooperate with any country on a Ballistic Missile; we think the capabilities we have are sufficient. Roketsan continues its own R&D activities in this regard; we also have roadmaps on this. We do not expect any country to support us in this regard.”

Prof. DEMİR: “We plan to initiate ALTAY Main Battle Tank Serial Production mid-next year” 

Answering a question about the serial production stage and powerpack procurement of the ALTAY Main Battle Tank, Prof. DEMİR said, “We have a timing issue here in order not to leave a huge gap between finding the alternative engine, bringing it in and integrating it into the system. We do not want to wait for a year or two after we have made a certain investment in the serial production line. A synchronized roadmap is being considered, but the activities for establishment of the serial production line as well as the facility have already started, and we expect the line to be operational and ready for production toward the middle of 2021. Shifting it to an earlier time or later is somewhat related to the schedule for the other engine to come on stream, but next year we'll see the tank in serial production line. Of course, it could have been realized before, but there was no point in keeping this gap for too long. Producing three or five tanks and then putting them on hold thereafter would generally mean keeping a certain investment passive. There are arrangements here for both temporal and operational synchronization.”

During the press meeting, footage of the launch of the domestically produced space probe rocket, with which Turkey has taken its first step into space, were shared with the press members. President of Defense Industries Prof. İsmail DEMİR stated that the efforts are currently under way to ensure that Turkey acquires the ability to launch, test, produce a satellite and establish a base, something that is owned only by a limited number of countries in the world, and said, “Our first goal is to place micro-satellites weighing 100 kilograms or less into low-Earth orbit with an altitude of at least 400 kilometers. In addition, activities on both the production and launch of domestic and national satellites continue. This will be gradually expanded later. Activities continue on rocket engines as well, one of the critical technologies in this regard. We have solid-propellant as well as liquid and hybrid-propellant rocket technology capabilities. We are exerting efforts to develop them in various sizes and capabilities. We will also have capabilities for integrated use of different types of engines. Roketsan CEO Murat İKİNCİ stated that Turkey went into space (100 kilometer) in 2017 and they aim to reach an altitude of 135 kilometers at the end of 2020, and in the long term they aim to launch a 1-1.5-ton satellite into space.

Dr. Faruk YİĞİT: “We started to manufacture the proximity sensor which we previously procured from abroad”

Responding to a question at the press meeting regarding the HİSAR A+ Low Altitude and HİSAR O+ Medium Range Air Defense Project, Roketsan Chairman of the Board Dr. Faruk YİĞİT said, “Initially, we further developed the requirements of our Forces. Because during the process, also your target sets improve your capabilities. Therefore, you should not stay behind. We are planning to deliver a product called HİSAR A+(Plus) with increased range, altitude and capability, not HİSAR A. We are now calling them A+ and O+ for both HİSAR A and HİSAR O. In addition, we also carry out activities to fill the gap, with Hight Altitude Air Defense HİSAR-U (SİPER) project.”

Touching also upon the indigenization activities in the HİSAR project, YİĞİT stated that they changed the structure of the proximity sensor procured from abroad within the scope of the project and have started to produce it. “What we did here is that we changed the structure of the proximity sensor we previously procured from abroad and started to produce it domestically, because we should not have a foreign dependency if we want to use our products at ease. We are developing our own RF proximity sensor. We will use it in our final product, and I hope it will be concluded by the end of the year. 

Stating that the National Vertical Launching System (MDAS) developed by Roketsan will be used instead of the Mk41 Vertical Launching System (VLS), which is currently imported from abroad in the upcoming period, with the increasing indigenization rate in Istanbul Class (I-Class) Frigates, Prof. DEMİR said, “The integration of the foreign system on the first ship of the I-Class Frigates will be conducted by Roketsan. A certain experience will be gained here. After that, we will come to the level where the system itself can be built by Roketsan. Later, it will be available also on the 6th, 7th and 8th ships of the I-Class Frigates.”

Prof. DEMİR: “SOM-J missile to be evaluated within the scope of Turkish Fighter Jet Program”

Responding the question about whether or not the export version of the SOM-J Stand-off-missile is planned to be utilized in the F-35 JSF aircraft in the inventory of the U.S. and other program partner countries is on the table of companies Roketsan and Lockheed Martin within the scope of the F-35JSF project, Prof. DEMİR stated that for the time being, the export version of the SOM-J missile as part of the F-35 project is not on the agenda, and said: “As of now, no proposal on the table for the utilization of the export version of the SOM-J missile by third countries. We may not have much appetite for this, either. Of course, any effort made will not go down the drain, and the efforts exerted in this field will not go to waste, because the lowered version of SOM within the scope of the Turkish Fighter Jet program will again come to the fore with the SOM-J. With a few design changes, such an issue is on the agenda.”

After the Q-A session, the doors of the Missile and Munition Test and Integration Center at the Roketsan campus were opened to press members. In the facility, information was provided regarding pod testing and integration, mechatronics, laser and guidance testing and integration, and the activities carried out in the laboratories where laser guidance kits are integrated into smart munitions (MAM-L & MAM-C) and Laser Guided Munitions (TEBER-81 & TEBER-82).  A live demo verification test was conducted during the press tour to demonstrate how smart munition such as the MAM-L, MAM-C in advance of integration into the platform are subjected to system and subsystem verification tests