New Generation Cruise Missiles SOM Product Family

Issue 99

Work on the serial production and development of different versions of the Stand-Off Missile (SOM), which has been developed as an air-to-ground/surface cruise missile to meet the requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces and those of friendly and allied nations, continues at full speed. The current members of the SOM product family are the SOM-A, SOM-B1 and SOM-B2 versions for use against ground targets, and the SOM-J version for use against naval targets. SOM-A and SOM-B1 feature a high explosive blast fragmentation warhead; SOM-B2 has a tandem penetrator warhead; and SOM-J has a semi-armor piercing warhead. The missile can select between missions based on pre-flight programming and it is possible to select the parameters used to hit the target.

The SOM product family, developed based on the most recent doctrines and technologies related to cruise missiles, stands out with its modular design, which supports the required operational flexibility for use against ground and naval targets with active protection.

The missile family is drawing attention by being lower in weight than its peers around the world and is becoming a center of attention at many international fairs. SOM has a range of 250+ kilometers compared to SOM-J’s 185+ kilometers. The missile is equipped with a new generation navigation system, and efforts are underway to transform it into a system that can be reprogrammed mid-flight by means of a data link and used in network centric warfare.

Roketsan conducted the first test firing of the SOM missile in 2011 and launched its serial production in 2013, which is continuing within the scope of the ongoing contracts. The most recent contract related to serial production was signed between the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and Roketsan in 2018, while negotiations are underway for the production of missiles in accordance with the President’s Second 100-day Action Program, made public in 2018.

The Defence Industry Executive Committee, decided in 2012 to launch the local development of precision-guided smart missiles, based on SOM, compatible with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the SSB subsequently appointed Roketsan as the contractor for the project, signing a contract in 2014. That same year, a cooperation agreement for the design, development, manufacture and marketing of JSF-Compatible Stand-Off Missile (SOM-J) was concluded with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, followed by a contract signed in 2016. The F-35 integration is being carried out in collaboration with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics.

Roketsan points out that the SOM product family will be making its mark in the coming period. “Our SOM product family is growing with members that will meet different requirements. High performance and cutting-edge technology continue to be the common hallmark of the family members, despite being designed for different missions. We believe that SOM, a solution that combines technology, performance and cost in a very balanced fashion, will gain popularity in the global markets in the future and we are continuing our development and promotional activities in that direction.”